Jun 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: House Democrat's bill would mandate AI disclosure

Illustration of a warning label that reads "Public advisory AI content" stylized like the parental advisory label.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation that would require the products of generative artificial intelligence to be accompanied by a disclaimer, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: AI is improving at a record pace. Experts say disclosure will be crucial to combat fraud or maintain a healthy political discourse.

The big picture: Torres' bill is the latest in a wave of new legislative efforts to regulate AI as Congress grapples with the emerging technology's massive potential — both for societal advancement and harm.

  • A bipartisan group of senators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), is in the early stages of developing potentially wide-reaching legislation.

Driving the news: The bill, a copy of which was first obtained by Axios, would require output created by generative AI, such as ChatGPT, to include: "Disclaimer: this output has been generated by artificial intelligence."

  • Enforcement would be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission, which imposes civil fines for disclosure violations.
  • The legislation is even broader than a bill introduced by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) in March to require such disclosures for AI-generated political advertising, which has already emerged as a factor in the 2024 election.

What we're watching: Federal agencies would be tasked with filling in the blanks in bills like Torres' on a number of key questions including:

  • How often should a disclaimer be provided?
  • How would attempts to remove a disclaimer be prevented?
  • How would generative AI be distinguished from other types of AI that don't require disclosures?
  • How will content generated by both a person and AI be treated?

What they're saying: "AI is the most revolutionary technology of our time. It has the potential to be a weapon of mass disinformation, dislocation, and destruction," Torres said in a statement to Axios.

  • Torres said regulating AI will be "one of the central challenges confronting Congress in the years and decades to come," and that disclosure is "the simplest place to start."
  • "Disclosure is by no means a magic bullet but it's a common-sense starting point to what will surely be a long road to regulation."

What's next: An aide told Axios that Torres' procedural strategy is to have the "nuts and bolts" of the bill end up in a larger legislative package.

  • A sweeping bill is what some senators are aiming for — but Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), another legislator heavily interested in AI, told Axios he believes a series of smaller bills are more likely to pass.
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