AG Reyes leads 20 state letter asking AI to be regulated by people, not politics

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Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes led a 20 state letter to Secretary Gina Raimondo of the U.S. Department of Commerce responding to the Department’s request for information on the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Twenty states signed the letter, objecting to the Biden Administration’s Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, which seeks to centralize governmental control over this emerging technology as it develops in the private sector.

Attorney General Reyes said: “While there is serious debate as to the best approach to regulate AI, one thing is clear — -the Biden administration cannot simply bypass congressional authority to act here.

“Any regulation must comport with the Constitution including only authorized executive action, as well as protecting against government censorship. As the administration proceeds to implement the White House AI Executive Order, we will remain vigilant on upholding the rule of law.”

President Biden issued the Executive Order on November 1, 2023, and cited the Defense Production Act for the supervisory scheme it creates to direct AI development. AG Reyes and the states argue that the Defense Production Act permits the President to order the production of materials for military defense.

However, it does not authorize the President to supervise the development of this emerging technology.

The attorneys general write, “As the chief law enforcement officers of our states, we share the goal of safe, trustworthy AI. The issues related to AI are complex and important, but they must be addressed by our constitutional, democratic process, not by executive fiat.

“The administration should work with Congress and states across the political spectrum to find bipartisan solutions that can help our country harness the power of AI and use it for the good of all, rather than only for one political party or specific groups of people.”

AG Reyes makes the case that the President has no authority to create this gatekeeping function for the federal government to supervise AI development through mandatory testing and reporting requirements imposed on private companies, and that government regulation should not be used to introduce political bias by stifling what the Administration views as “disinformation.”

Joining Utah on this letter were the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. ■

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