Democrats Propose Artificial Intelligence Rules

Artificial intelligence, AI, Senate

Three U.S. lawmakers have introduced a measure that pledges to bring transparency and regulation to the software, algorithms and other automated systems designed to make critical decisions about many aspect of Americans’ lives, according to a Feb. 3 announcement.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, (D-N.Y.) introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022.

If enacted, the legislation would require companies to assess for bias, effectiveness and other factors when using automated decision systems to make crucial decisions. Additionally, it would create a public repository of these systems at the Federal Trade Commission and add teeth to the law with the hiring of 75 staffers to the commission to enforce the law.

“As algorithms and other automated decision systems take on increasingly prominent roles in our lives, we have a responsibility to ensure that they are adequately assessed for biases that may disadvantage minority or marginalized communities,” Booker said in a statement.

The bill is co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

It also has the support of an array of experts and civil society organizations including Access Now, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Color of Change, Consumer Reports and U.S. PIRG.

In January, the European Parliament approved the Digital Service Act which changes the rules for handling illegal or potentially harmful content online, the liability of online providers for third party content and vetting obligations of third-party suppliers.

Read more: EU Parliament Approves Digital Service Act Targeting Big Tech

This regulation is relevant not only for all digital service providers, but also for their business users and customers.

The main provisions include transparency obligations for online platforms relating to the measures taken to combat illegal information, and stringent obligations for the biggest online platforms.