Axios Pro: Tech Policy

November 28, 2023

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1 big thing: Klobuchar: OpenAI chaos signals need for regulation

Two people seated on a stage under an AI+DC sign

Klobuchar. Photo: Eric Lee/Axios

OpenAI's recent board drama shows that regulators need to set rules of the road for artificial intelligence, Sen. Amy Klobuchar told Ashley during the Axios AI+ Summit today.

Why it matters: Few lawmakers have weighed in on what the instability at the maker of the hugely popular ChatGPT means for the responsible and safe development of AI, Maria writes.

  • "I think it shows how fragile all of this is. There's also a need to have some guardrails because you never know at what moment who's going to be in charge of what, who's going to be making decisions about this incredibly powerful technology," Klobuchar said.

Zoom in: Klobuchar gave a nod to previous antitrust efforts that she said are "still relevant and maybe even more so" in the age of AI.

  • The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would address the anticompetitive practice 0f "self-preferencing" that is exacerbated by AI because the technology makes it harder to know whose product is being unfairly promoted, Klobuchar said.
  • The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, meanwhile, would compensate journalists for their work that feeds AI models.

Of note: Klobuchar said she is gathering input on a discussion draft bill on intellectual property and people's rights to own their images. She's working on it with Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Thom Tillis and Chris Coons.

Klobuchar reflected on the "ferocious tech debates" around antitrust, during which millions of dollars were lobbied against her bills, saying of AI: "This time there is some legit meeting of the minds."

What's next: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will hold two more AI insight forums on intellectual property and defense issues "in the next week," Klobuchar said.

  • Then legislation will be packaged, Klobuchar said, adding: "There may be some bills going off on their own just because we decide, boy, we have to get these done now."
  • "The plan would be to work on them early in the year. We're obviously not going to do them in the next three weeks."
  • Klobuchar pointed to her efforts around AI in elections: "If there's one thing we better get done soon, I think it's that."

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