Jan 30, 2023 - News

Massachusetts could rein in ChatGPT

Animated gif of a computer screen that reads "A.I" with the "I" as a blinking cursor

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Beacon Hill could crack down this session on how companies use generative artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT.

The latest: State Sen. Barry Finegold wants the country's biggest AI companies to register their tools with the Attorney General's office, and to disclose to the government some of how their algorithms work.

  • Finegold's bill would require companies using AI to conduct regular risk assessments and implement security measures.
  • The legislation would also make AI text generators include a distinct watermark to prevent plagiarism.

What it is: ChatGPT is a free (for now) site that lets users pose questions and give directions to a bot that can answer with conversation, term papers, sonnets, recipes — almost anything. In almost any style you specify.

What they're saying: "This is such a powerful tool that there have to be regulations," Finegold told Axios.

  • The senator, who is known to be tech-savvy, said governments had to play catch-up when regulating online privacy issues and social media platforms over the last decade and shouldn't fall behind on new technology like chatbots.

The intrigue: Finegold's staff used ChatGPT to draft some of the language of the bill.

  • The AI author seemed to distrust politicians as much as many voters. According to Finegold's office, the chatbot added a statement that "any errors or inaccuracies in the bill should not be attributed to the language model but rather to its human authors." without being prompted.

ICYMI: U.S. Rep Jake Auchincloss gave a short speech on the House floor last week written completely by ChatGPT. He said his goal was to spur debate on the challenges and opportunities presented by AI.

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