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Colorado Enacts Landmark AI Regulation Law to Combat Algorithmic Discrimination

 |  May 20, 2024

Colorado has become the first state in the nation to mandate that developers of high-risk artificial intelligence (AI) systems take measures to avoid discrimination. The bill, signed into law on Friday by Governor Jared Polis (D), sets a precedent for AI regulation aimed at preventing algorithmic biases and ensuring transparency in AI development.

The newly enacted legislation requires developers of “high-risk” AI systems to “use reasonable care to avoid algorithmic discrimination.” Additionally, it mandates that these developers disclose pertinent information about their systems to both regulators and the public, and conduct thorough impact assessments. These provisions are designed to foster accountability and mitigate potential harms associated with AI technologies.

According to The Hill, despite facing opposition from technology industry groups, the bill secured enough support to be signed into law. However, Governor Polis, in his signing letter to the Colorado Legislature, expressed his reservations and urged lawmakers to refine the bill before it takes effect in 2026.

Related: Colorado Makes History: First State to Enact Comprehensive AI Legislation

“This bill is among the first in the country to attempt to regulate the burgeoning artificial intelligence industry on such a scale. I appreciate the sponsors’ interest in preventing discrimination and prioritizing consumer protection as Colorado leads in this space, and I encourage them to significantly improve on this before it takes effect,” Polis wrote. He also emphasized his commitment to ensuring that Colorado remains a hub for innovative technologies while protecting consumers’ access to important AI-based products.

The enactment of this law in Colorado follows a very different outcome in Connecticut, where attempts to pass similar AI regulation bills failed earlier this month. The Associated Press noted this contrast, highlighting Colorado’s proactive stance in the face of growing concerns about AI’s societal impacts.

The state-level action in Colorado comes amidst ongoing discussions in Congress about federal AI regulations. Although no federal AI regulation bills have been passed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently released a report outlining guidelines for AI regulation. Furthermore, a Senate panel has advanced three election-related AI bills out of committee, signaling increased legislative activity around AI governance.

Source: The Hill