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  • Writer's pictureMegan Willing

Recent Developments in AI Legislation


Legislation in AI & Manufacturing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an essential tool in manufacturing for improving efficiency and productivity while reducing costs. However, with the use of AI in the manufacturing sector increasing, concerns about its ethical and legal implications have arisen. The United States government has recently taken steps to address these concerns by introducing legislation related to AI and manufacturing.


One significant event related to AI in the United States was a recent congressional hearing held on May 16, 2023. The hearing, titled "Oversight of A.I.: Rules for Artificial Intelligence," was chaired by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and took place under the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology, Privacy, and the Law. The hearing aimed to gather information, hear testimonies, and engage in discussions about the potential risks and benefits of AI, with a focus on the need for Congress to develop a framework for regulating AI.


During the hearing, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, testified as an expert witness. Altman emphasized that while AI is a powerful technology with the potential to improve various aspects of life, it also carries serious risks if not carefully regulated. He called on Congress to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework that would protect people from harm and ensure the responsible and beneficial use of AI.


Altman highlighted the benefits of AI, including its ability to automate tasks, enhance decision-making processes, and drive innovation by creating new products and services. However, he also addressed the potential risks associated with AI, such as its potential for malicious use, including spreading misinformation and creating deep fakes. Altman stressed that these risks necessitate regulation to safeguard societal well-being.


Legislation for AI and Manufacturing

Before the May 16th congressional hearing on AI regulation, the U.S. government has introduced several existing pieces of legislation related to AI but not specific to manufacturing. These legislative efforts aim to address various aspects of AI integration while promoting transparency, accountability, cybersecurity, and workforce development. Here are some highlights of existing legislation pieces.


National AI Initiative Act of 2020

One of the first significant pieces of legislation is the National AI Initiative Act of 2020 (please add reference. This act provides funding for research and development of AI technologies in various sectors, including manufacturing. It aims to improve coordination between government agencies and private companies involved in AI development, fostering collaboration between government agencies, academia, and industry to accelerate AI innovation and ensure the United States remains at the forefront of AI advancements.


To facilitate collaboration and coordination, the act establishes a National AI Initiative Office within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. This office serves as a central hub for coordinating AI-related activities across federal agencies, private sector entities, and academia. It helps streamline efforts, promote knowledge sharing, and foster partnerships to drive AI advancements in manufacturing and other sectors.


The National AI Initiative Act of 2020 also includes provisions related to AI ethics, promoting transparency and accountability in AI development. These provisions are particularly important in the manufacturing sector, where AI systems are used to make decisions that can have a significant impact on human safety and well-being.



IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020

Another important piece of legislation related to AI and manufacturing is the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020. This act addresses the growing concerns surrounding the security of IoT devices used in manufacturing. It mandates the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop guidelines for IoT device manufacturers, including those involved in the manufacturing sector. The guidelines aim to improve the security of IoT devices and prevent cyber attacks that could compromise the safety of AI systems.


AI in Government Act of 2020

The use of AI in manufacturing has raised concerns about the impact on employment, particularly in industries with a high reliance on manual labor. The AI in Government Act of 2020 aims to address this issue by establishing a task force to study the impact of AI on the federal workforce. The task force will provide recommendations on how to prepare the federal workforce for the increasing use of AI technologies, including in the manufacturing sector. This initiative acknowledges the importance of ensuring a smooth transition and providing necessary support to workers affected by AI integration.


Trusted AI Challenge Series by the U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has introduced the Trusted AI Challenge Series, which invites private companies to develop AI systems that prioritize security, transparency, and accountability. The DOD is particularly interested in AI systems that can be used in manufacturing and logistics, areas where the military relies heavily on technology. This initiative aims to ensure that AI technologies deployed in these critical sectors meet high standards of trustworthiness and align with ethical considerations.


Conclusion

In conclusion, the U.S. government has taken significant steps to address the ethical and legal implications of AI in manufacturing. The recent congressional hearing on AI regulation served as a platform for discussions on the potential risks and benefits of AI, emphasizing the need for comprehensive regulatory frameworks. The introduced legislation, including the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020, and the AI in Government Act of 2020, showcases the government's commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and cybersecurity in AI development. Additionally, the Trusted AI Challenge Series by the DOD focuses on ensuring the development of secure and trustworthy AI systems for critical sectors like manufacturing. These legislative efforts, combined with ongoing discussions and collaborations between experts and lawmakers, will contribute to the safe and responsible integration of AI technologies in the manufacturing sector, benefiting society as a whole.


Resources

Blumenthal. (2023, May 16). Oversight of A.I.: Rules for artificial intelligence: United States Senate Committee on the judiciary. Oversight of A.I.: Rules for Artificial ... | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/committee-activity/hearings/oversight-of-ai-rules-for-artificial-intelligence


HR 16668 - 116th Congress (2019 - 2020): Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 (2023, May 19) https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ207/PLAW-116publ207.pdf


Pub L. 116 - 283.118th Congress : National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020 https://www.ai.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/National-Artificial-Intelligence-Initiative-Act-of-2020.pdf




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