Last week, two United States senators unveiled a bipartisan blueprint for artificial intelligence (AI) legislation. The framework put forward by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Josh Hawley advocates for mandatory licensing for AI firms and makes it clear that technology liability protections will not shield these companies from legal action.
The framework proposes creating a licensing system overseen by an independent regulatory body. It mandates that AI model developers register with this oversight entity, which would possess the authority to conduct audits of these licensing applicants. It also suggests that Congress should make it explicit that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides legal protections to tech firms for third-party content, does not extend to AI applications.
Blumenthal and Hawley, who lead the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and Law, have also revealed plans for a hearing. This hearing will include testimony from prominent figures, such as Brad Smith, vice chairman and president of Microsoft; William Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at Nvidia; and Woodrow Hartzog, professor at Boston University School of Law.
A previous attempt to start the regulatory dialogue on AI was made by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who also introduced an AI framework in June. His framework outlined an extensive range of fundamental principles, as opposed to the more detailed measures proposed by Hawley and Blumenthal.
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