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Wondering where AI regulation stands in your state? Today, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) released The State of State AI Policy, a roundup of AI-related bills at the state and local level that were passed, introduced or failed in the 2021-2022 legislative session (EPIC gave VentureBeat permission to reprint the full roundup below).

Within the past year, according to the document (which was compiled by summer clerk Caroline Kraczon), states and localities have passed or introduced bills “regulating artificial intelligence or establishing commissions or task forces to seek transparency about the use of AI in their state or locality.” 

For example, Alabama, Colorado, Illinois and Vermont have passed bills creating a commission, task force or oversight position to evaluate the use of AI in their states and make recommendations regarding its use. Alabama, Colorado, Illinois and Mississippi have passed bills that limit the use of AI in their states. And Baltimore and New York City have passed local bills that would prohibit the use of algorithmic decision-making in a discriminatory manner. 

Ben Winters, EPIC’s counsel and leader of EPIC’s AI and Human Rights Project, said the information was something he had wanted to get in one single document for a long time. 

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“State policy in general is really hard to follow, so the idea was to get a sort of zoomed-out picture of what has been introduced and what has passed, so that at the next session everyone is prepared to move the good bills along,” he said. 

Fragmented state and local AI legislation

The list of varied laws makes clear the fragmentation of legislation around the use of AI in the US – as opposed to the broad mandate of a proposed regulatory framework around the use of AI in the European Union. 

But Winters said while state laws can be confusing or frustrating – for example, if vendors have to deal with different state laws regulating AI in government contracting — the advantage is that comprehensive bills can tend to get watered down. 

“Also, when bills are passed affecting businesses in huge states such as, say, California, it basically creates a standard,” he said. “We’d love to see strong legislation passed nationwide, but from my perspective right now state-level policy could yield stronger outcomes.” 

Enterprise businesses, he added, should be aware of proposed AI regulation and that there is a rising standard overall around the transparency and explainability of AI. “To get ahead of that rising tide, I think they should try to take it upon themselves to do more testing, more documentation and do this in a way that’s understandable to consumers,” he said. “That’s what more and more places are going to require.” 

AI regulation focused on specific issues

Some limited issues, he pointed out, will have more accelerated growth in legislative focus, including facial recognition and the use of AI in hiring. “Those are sort of the ‘buckle your seat belt’ issues,’ he said. 

Other issues will see a slow growth in the number of proposed bills, although Winters said that there is a lot of action around state procurement and automated decision making systems. “The Vermont bill passed last year and both California and Washington state were really close,” he said. “So I think there’s going to be more of those next year in the next legislative session.” 

In addition, he said, there might be some movement on specific bills codifying concepts around AI discrimination.  For example, Washington DC’s Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act of 2021 “would prohibit the use of algorithmic decision-making in a discriminatory manner and would require notices to individuals whose personal information is used in certain algorithms to determine employment, housing, healthcare and financial lending.”  

“The DC bill hasn’t passed yet, but there’s a lot of interest,” he explained, adding that similar ideas are in the pending American Data Privacy and Protection Act. “I don’t think there will be a federal law or any huge avalanche of generally-applicable AI laws in commerce in the next little bit, but current state bills have passed that have requirements around certain discrimination aspects and opting out – that’s going to require more transparency.” 

State 

Passed 

  • Alabama Act No. 2021-344– To establish the Alabama Council on Advanced Technology and Artificial Intelligence to review and advise the Governor, the Legislature, and other interested parties on the use and development of advanced technology and artificial intelligence in this state. 
    • Established the Alabama Council on Advanced Technology and Artificial Intelligence, specified the makeup of the council, and set qualification requirements for council members. 
    • Introduced: 2/2/21; Passed 4/27/21 
  • Alabama Act No. 2022-420– Artificial intelligence, limit the use of facial recognition, to ensure artificial intelligence is not the only basis for arrest 
    • Prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) from using facial recognition technology (FRT) match results to establish probable cause in a criminal investigation or to make an arrest.  
    • When LEAs seek to establish probable cause, the bill only permits LEAs to use FRT match results in conjunction with other lawfully obtained information and evidence.  
    • Introduced: 1/11/22; Passed: 4/5/22; Signed: 4/6/22 
  • Colorado SB 22-113 – Concerning the use of personal identifying data, and, in connection therewith, creating a task force for the consideration of facial recognition services, restricting the use of facial recognition services by state and local government agencies, temporarily prohibiting public schools from executing new contracts for facial recognition services, and making an appropriation. 
    • Created a task force to study issues relating to the use of artificial intelligence in Colorado.  
    • Requires state and local agencies that use or intend to use a facial recognition service (FRS) to file a notice of intent and produce an accountability report. Agencies using FRS will be required to subject decisions that produce legal effects to meaningful human review. Agencies using FRS must conduct periodic training of individuals who operate the FRS. Agencies must maintain records sufficient to facilitate public reporting and auditing of compliance with FRS policies.  
    • Restricted LEA’s use of FRS. It prohibits LEAs from using FRS to conduct ongoing surveillance, real-time identification, or persistent tracking unless the LEA obtains a warrant, and LEAs may not apply FRS to an individual based on protected characteristics.  
    • Agencies must disclose their use of an FRS on a criminal defendant to that defendant in a timely manner prior to trial.  
    • Prohibits the use of facial recognition services by any public school, charter school, or institute charter school. 
    • Introduced: 2/3/22; Signed: 6/8/22; Effective: 8/10/22. 
  • Illinois Public Act 102-0047 – Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act 
    • Requires employers who solely rely on AI analysis of video interview to determine whether an applicant will be selected for an in-person interview to collect and report demographic data about the race and ethnicity of applications who are not selected for in-person interviews and of those who are hired. Employers must report this data to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 
    • Introduced: 1/14/21; Passed: 5/25/21; Approved; 7/9/21; Effective: 1/1/22. 
  • Illinois Public Act 102-0407 – Illinois Future of Work Act 
    • Creates the Illinois Future of Work Task Force to identify and assess the new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, that impact employment, wages, and skill requirements. The bill describes the task force’s responsibilities and specifies the makeup of the task force. 
    • Introduced: 2/8/21; Passed: 5/31/21; Signed: 8/19/21. 
  • Mississippi HB 633 – Mississippi Computer Science and Cyber Education Equality Act. 
    • The State Department of Education is directed to implement a K-12 computer science curriculum including instruction in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 
    • Introduced: 1/18/22; Passed: 3/17/21; Approved by the Governor: 3/24/21; Effective 7/1/21. 
  • Vermont H 410 – An act relating to the use and oversight of artificial intelligence in State government 
    • Creates the Division of Artificial Intelligence within the Agency of Digital Services to review all aspects of artificial intelligence developed, employed, or procured by State government.  
    • Creates the position of the Director of Artificial Intelligence to administer the Division and the Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council to provide advice and counsel to the Director. Requires the Division of Artificial Intelligence to, among other things, propose a State code of ethics on the use of artificial intelligence in State government and make recommendations to the General Assembly on policies, laws, and regulations of artificial intelligence in State government. The Division is also responsible for making various annual recommendations and reporting requirements to the General Assembly on the use of artificial intelligence in State government.  
    • Requires the Agency of Digital Services to conduct an inventory of all the automated decision systems developed, employed, or procured by State government. 
    • Introduced 3/9/21, passed 5/9/22, and approved by Governor on 5/24/22. 

Pending 

  • California SB 1216 – An act to add and repeal Section 11547.5 of the Government Code, relating to technology. 
    • Amends an existing CA law that prohibits businesses from making false and misleading advertising claims.  
    • Would establish a Deepfake Working Group to evaluate how deepfakes pose a risk to businesses and residents of CA. It defines deepfakes as “audio or visual content that has been generated or manipulated by artificial intelligence which would falsely appear to be authentic or truthful and which features depictions of people appearing to say or do things they did not say or do without their consent.”  
    • The working group would be directed to develop mechanisms to reduce and identify deepfakes and report on current uses and risks of deepfakes. 
    • Introduced: 2/17/22; Passed CA Senate; 5/25/22. It is currently in the House, and it was re-referred to committee on 6/29/22. 
  • California AB 13– An act to add Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 12114) to Part 2 of Division 2 of, and to add and repeal Section 12115.4 of, the Public Contract Code, relating to automatic decision systems. 
    • Enacts the Automated Decision Systems Accountability Act and state the intent of the Legislature that state agencies use an acquisition method that minimizes the risk of adverse and discriminatory impacts resulting from the design and application of automated decision systems (ADS).  
    • Requires the Department of Technology to conduct an inventory of all high-risk ADS that have been proposed for, or are being used, developed, or procured by state agencies, and to submit a report to the Legislature.  
    • Requires state agencies that are seeking to award contracts for goods or services that include the use of ADS to encourage the contractors to include ADS impact assessment reports in their bids. 
    • Introduced: 12/7/20, Passed the CA Assembly: 6/1/21; Placed on suspense file in CA Senate: 8/16/21. 
  • California AB 1826– An act to add Chapter 5.9 (commencing with 11549.75) to Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to technology. 
    • Establishes the Department of Technology within the Government Operations Agency. The department would be required to establish a process to conduct research projects related to technology, and online platforms would be required to share certain date with researched conducting the projects. Among the data that platforms would be required to share is a semiannual report including a summary of data-driven models, including those based on machine learning or other artificial intelligence techniques that the platforms use to predict user behavior or engagement and statistics regarding the content the platforms have removed using artificial intelligence review processes. 
    • Introduced: 2/18/22. 
  • Georgia HB 1651 – Transparency and Fairness in Automated Decision-Making Commission 
    • Create the Transparency and Fairness in Automated Decision-Making Commission, which would review and publicly report on the state’s use of artificial intelligence and other automated decision systems and develop recommendations for the use of these systems by state agencies. It specifies the makeup of the commission, sets qualification requirements, describes how the commission should operate, and requires the commission to report its findings to the legislature and the public. 
    • Introduced: 4/4/22. 
  • Hawaii HB 454 – Cybersecurity and artificial intelligence business investment tax credit. 
    • Establishes an income tax credit for investment in qualified businesses that develop cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. 
    • Introduced: 1/25/21; Carried over to the 2022 regular session on 12/10/21. 
  • Maryland HB 1359 – Technology and Science Advisory Commission 
    • Establishes the Technology and Science Advisory Commission to advise state agencies on technology and science developments, make recommendations on the use of developing technologies, review and make recommendations on algorithmic decision systems employed by state agencies, and create a framework to address the ethics of emerging technologies to avoid systemic harm and bias.  
    • Introduced: 2/11/22. 
  • Massachusetts S 2688 – An Act establishing a commission on automated decision-making by government in the commonwealth 
    • Establishes a commission to study and make recommendations related to the Massachusetts’ use of automated decision systems that may affect human welfare and legal rights and privileges.  
    • Describes the specific responsibilities of the commission, composition of the commission, and reporting requirements. 
    • Reported from the committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity on 2/14/22; Referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means on 7/11/22. 
  • Massachusetts H 4512 -An Act establishing a commission on automated decision-making by government in the commonwealth 
    • Same bill text as MA S2688. 
    • Reported from the Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity on 3/3/22; Referred to the Committee on House Ways and Means on 4/14/22. 
  • New Jersey A195 – Requires Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to conduct a study and issue report on impact of artificial intelligence on growth of State’s economy 
    • Requires the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to study the impact of AI-powered technology on the growth of the state’s economy and prepare a report describing their findings. 
    • Introduced: 1/11/21. 
  • New York AB 2414– Establishes the Commission on the Future of Work 
    • Establishes the Commission on the Future of Work within the Department of Labor to research and understand the impact of technology on workers, employers, and the economy of the state. Requires the Commission to submit a report along with any recommendations for legislative action to the governor and the legislature. 
    • Introduced: 1/19/21; Reintroduced: 1/5/22. 
  • Rhode Island H 7223– Commission to Monitor the Use of Artificial Intelligence in State Government  
    • Establishes a commission to monitor the use of AI in state government and to make recommendations related to the state’s use of AI systems that could affect human welfare, including legal rights and privileges. Specifies the composition of the commission and sets reporting requirements. 
    • Introduced: 1/26/22. 
  • Washington SB 5116 – Establishing guidelines for government procurement and use of automated decision systems in order to protect consumers, improve transparency, and create more market predictability. 
    • Directs the Washington state chief information officer to adopt rules related to the development, procurement, and use of AI systems by public agencies. The officer is required to consult with communities whose rights are disproportionately impacted by automated decision systems. 
    • Introduced: 1/8/21; Reintroduced: 1/10/22. 

Failed 

  • Maryland HB 1323 – Algorithmic Decision Systems – Procurement and Discriminatory Acts 
    • Would require state units purchasing products that contain algorithmic decision systems to only purchase products or services that adhere to responsible artificial intelligence standards. These standards include the avoidance of physical and mental harm, the unjustified deletion or disclosure of information, unwarranted damage to property, reputation, or environment, a commitment to transparency, giving primacy to fairness, and conducting a comprehensive evaluation of risks of the system. 
    • Introduced: 2/8/21. 
  • Michigan HB 4439 -Michigan employment security act 
    • Directs an independent computer expert to audit the algorithm used by the unemployment agency computer system to evaluate claims for unemployment benefits and prepare a report regarding the system, the number of claims and denials, and an analysis of the fairness of the algorithm. 
    • Introduced: 3/4/21. 
  • Missouri HB 1254 – Establishes the Missouri Technology Task Force 
    • Would establish a task force to evaluate Missouri’s technology platforms, the use of cloud computing and artificial intelligence in the state, state certification programs and workforce developments, and state technology initiatives. The task force was also directed to make recommendations regarding the use of technology and artificial intelligence to improve state record management.  
    • Set reporting requirements and specified the makeup of the task force. 
    • Introduced: 2/23/21. 
  • Nevada SB 110 – Revises provisions relating to businesses engaged in the development of emerging technologies. 
    • Would create the Emerging Technologies Task Force administer and coordinate programs, provide information to the public, and assist small businesses and government entities to prepare for and respond to emerging technological developments, which includes AI. 
    • Introduced: 2/10/21. 

Local 

Passed 

  • Baltimore, Maryland Act 21-038 – Surveillance Technology in Baltimore 
    • Prohibits Baltimore city government from obtaining or contracting with another entity that provides certain face surveillance technology, prohibits any person in Baltimore City from obtaining or using face surveillance technology, and requires the Director of Baltimore City Information and Technology to submit an annual report to the Mayor and City Council regarding the use of surveillance by the Mayor and City Council. 
    • Introduced: 1/11/21; Approved: 6/14/21; Signed: 8/16/21. 
  • Bellingham, Washington Ballot Initiative #2 – Ban on Advanced Policing Technologies
    • Prohibits government use of facial recognition and predictive policing technologies. Bellingham residents voted to prohibit the city from acquiring or using facial recognition technology or contracting with a third party to use facial recognition technology on the city’s behalf. The measure also restricts use of illegally obtained data in policing or trials.
    • Passed 11/10/21
  • New York, New York Int. 1894-2020 – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to automated employment decision tools 
    • Requires employers to conduct bias audits on automated decision tools before using them and to notify candidates and employees about the use of the tools in assessments or evaluations for hire or promotion. 
    • Introduced: 2/27/20; Passed: 11/10/21. 

Pending 

  • Washington, DC B24-0558 – Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act of 2021 
    • Would prohibit the use of algorithmic decision-making in a discriminatory manner and would require notices to individuals whose personal information is used in certain algorithms to determine employment, housing, healthcare and financial lending. 
    • Introduced: 12/9/21. 

Read more: What is AI governance

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