Communications and Technology

How to Make Your State a 2024 AI Leader

Policymakers should keep in mind that, fundamentally, artificial intelligence is a tool that works better to augment humans, not replace them entirely.

ALEC’s enduring principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism, combined with our common-sense model policies, serve as an ideal template for your state to excel as a leader in emerging tech innovation.

Policymakers should keep in mind that, fundamentally, artificial intelligence is a tool that works better to augment humans, not replace them entirely. Today’s AI tools and software are not alive, nor are they sentient or so-called artificial general intelligence (AGI). AI has come a long way in the past decade—and even the past year—but the technology still makes mistakes and often “hallucinates” data presented as factual information. Continued human oversight and direction will remain essential for the foreseeable future.

To preserve the positive economic and societal benefits of AI while mitigating the risks for harm, it is vital for lawmakers to avoid overly strict regulations on the technology of artificial intelligence itself in this early phase of the product lifecycle. Instead, states should welcome private sector entrepreneurs to experiment and pioneer the next wave of technological marvels, allowing consumers and the marketplace to decide which products are winners, not government regulators.

Where it is absolutely necessary for government to step in, regulation should be narrowly tailored and focused on specific harmful conduct, not the technology itself. In many cases, the federal government, states, and localities already have sufficient laws on the books designed to address many of these issues in a technology-neutral way. It is preferable for legislators to leverage existing laws to address concerns instead of enacting duplicative statutes or brand-new regulatory agencies. Existing state agencies and the judicial system are often already equipped to adjudicate AI-related disputes.

Finally, lawmakers should take care to ground any regulatory proposals in the facts instead of relying on hypothetical fears or science fiction narratives to determine your state’s future.

ALEC Model Policy: Stop Deepfake CSAM Act and Stop Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Deepfake Media Act

The widespread adoption of novel digital technologies like generative AI has the potential to disrupt the legal and regulatory landscape. One potential gap in the law pertains to child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and non-consensual intimate media (also known as “revenge pornography”) that has been generated, altered, or manipulated using AI tools or deepfakes.

These two ALEC model policies reassert the original intent of legislators and bolster existing statutes already in effect to criminalize the possession and distribution of CSAM and target unlawful non-consensual intimate deepfakes. This simple, surgical model language modernizes existing laws to account for the reality of our AI world without granting more power than absolutely necessary to government agencies.