California Bill Calls for AI Regulation and Proposed Research Cloud
With all the focus on Washington D.C., a lawmaker in one of the world’s top 10 economies has introduced an AI regulation bill. In California, State Senator Scott Wiener introduced Senate Bill 294, known as the Safety Framework in Artificial Intelligence Act. The roughly three-page bill wants to establish standards for the safe development of AI systems, ensure secure deployments of said systems, and for the responsible scaling of AI models throughout California. While not as dense as the European Union’s Harmonised Rules on Artificial Intelligence (EU AI Act), it’s important to note that California is a multi-trillion dollar company and home to Silicon Valley, which is home to big tech companies like Apple, Cisco, Oracle, etc. To put it simply, this bill could potentially have a huge impact.
The Safety Framework in Artificial Intelligence Act gets straight to the point, but is light on details. The bill states that it would create a framework of disclosure requirements for companies developing advanced AI models. That would include plans for risk analyses, safeguards, capability testing, responsible implementation, as well as requiring improvements to all of that over time. The bill adds that the aim is to ensure high safety regulations against societal harms from AI models through security rules and liability, in the hope of preventing misuse and/or unintended consequences. It also suggests security measures that prevent AI systems from falling in the hands of foreign adversaries. Furthermore, the bill intends to mitigate AIs impact of potential workforce displacement and distribute the economic benefits reaped by AI.
There’s another interesting piece to this bill involving AI assurance. The bill calls for the state of California to create, what it calls, “CalCompute,” a state research cloud. Once again, the bill is light on details, but the gist is that the cloud would provide the computing infrastructure necessary for groups outside of the big tech industry. That means academia and start-ups could utilize this cloud for advanced AI work. As mentioned, the bill is light on details, but there is a reason. According to a press release from Wiener’s office, the Safety in Artificial Intelligence Act is an intent bill, which means it’s generally meant to start the conversation for lawmakers moving forward. That’s because California’s legislative session ended on September 14, 2023 and won’t reconvene for another legislative session until January 3, 2024. This all comes on the heels of an executive order on AI, issued and signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The executive order mandates state agencies and departments to analyze the development, uses and risks of AI in the state. Agencies are also mandated to analyze threats to the state’s through generative AI (GenAI). On top of that, agencies will issue general guidelines for public use, procurement and training on GenAI. State departments must report on the uses, harms, and risks of AI for state workers, the government and communities throughout the state. State workers will also be trained on approved AI systems. An Interesting caveat to the order is an encouraged partnership with the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford to advance California as a global leader in AI. This could be what “Calcompute” is. In California, lawmakers and the governor have welcomed talks of responsible AI as discussion of AI in general has picked up steam in the United States. Things are beginning to move at lightning speed in the states.
If you have questions on how this could affect your company, reach out to BABL AI. They can answer all your questions and more.