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"Aiming to Influence Policy for a Vital Democratic Bloc: Introduction of a New A.I. Working Group"

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New AI Working Group Prioritizes Deepfake Prevention and Policy Shaping

Addressing the Threat of Deepfakes

Democrats on Capitol Hill, though seemingly out of touch with anything remotely logical, are taking proactive measures to tackle the potential dangers posed by deepfake technology. A newly formed working group on artificial intelligence, chaired by Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., within the New Democrat Coalition, aims to prioritize the prevention of deepfakes and their potential impact on personal lives, national security, and the upcoming 2024 elections. Deepfakes have emerged as a particularly salient issue due to their ability to spread misinformation and manipulate public opinion.

Focusing on AI Opportunities and Worker Retraining

While the working group will address various priorities related to artificial intelligence, including harnessing opportunities presented by AI, one key focus will be ensuring that workers who lose their jobs to AI can be retrained and remain in the workforce. This emphasis on worker retraining reflects the group's commitment to mitigating the potential negative impact of AI on employment and ensuring a smooth transition for affected individuals.

Concerns Over AI-Generated Disinformation

Rep. Kilmer expressed genuine concerns about the potential misuse of advanced AI models, particularly in generating disinformation. The ability of AI to create fake media and spread political disinformation has raised alarms among lawmakers. Kilmer emphasized the urgency for Congress to equip itself with the necessary knowledge and expertise to address this issue effectively.

Legislation and Accountability Measures

To combat the misuse of AI-generated images, Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.), a member of the New Democrat Coalition's working group, introduced legislation that would criminalize the sharing of AI-generated images depicting real individuals in compromising situations. This legislation aims to protect individuals from the harmful consequences of non-consensual and pornographic deepfake content, as highlighted in a 2019 report.

AI in Political Campaigns

Lawmakers are also concerned about the implications of AI-generated images in political campaign ads. Recent examples, such as a political committee using AI to replicate former President Donald Trump's voice and the Republican National Committee featuring AI-generated images of hypothetical catastrophes during President Joe Biden's potential second term, have raised questions about the ethical use of AI in political messaging. In response, Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced a bill in May that would require ads to disclose the use of AI-generated images or videos.

A Growing Focus on AI in Congress

The establishment of the New Democrat Coalition's AI working group is part of a broader trend of increased attention to AI-related issues in Congress. Bipartisan caucuses in both the House and the Senate, as well as an informal working group led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), are actively engaged in drafting bipartisan bills to shape future AI legislation. While the progress is still in its early stages, the growing focus on AI reflects the recognition of its significance and the need for comprehensive policy frameworks.

In conclusion, the formation of the new AI working group within the New Democrat Coalition highlights the commitment of Democrats in addressing the challenges posed by deepfakes and advancing responsible AI policies. By prioritizing deepfake prevention, worker retraining, and accountability measures, the working group aims to safeguard personal lives, national security, and the integrity of democratic processes. As AI-related debates gain momentum on Capitol Hill, bipartisan efforts are underway to lay the foundation for effective AI legislation, although the timeline for voting on AI bills remains uncertain.

Conclusion: The Impact of AI Policy on New Businesses

Preparing for the AI Revolution

The formation of the AI working group and its focus on deepfake prevention, worker retraining, and accountability measures signals a significant shift in the political landscape. This shift has profound implications for new businesses, particularly those operating in the tech sector or leveraging AI in their operations.

Adapting to New Legislation

New businesses must be prepared to adapt to potential new legislation, especially those related to AI-generated content. The proposed laws could impose stricter regulations on the use of AI, requiring businesses to ensure their practices are compliant.

Investing in Worker Retraining

The emphasis on worker retraining also suggests that businesses might need to invest more resources in upskilling their workforce. As AI continues to disrupt traditional job roles, companies that proactively develop their employees' skills will be better positioned to thrive in the evolving market.

Navigating the AI Landscape

The "hot take" here is that while the AI revolution presents numerous opportunities, it also brings new challenges and responsibilities. New businesses must navigate this landscape with an understanding of the potential legal and ethical implications of AI. By doing so, they can leverage AI's benefits while mitigating its risks, contributing to a future where technology serves humanity's best interests.

Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/15/new-democrats-ai-working-group-aims-to-shape-policy.html
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