Connecticut Passes Bill to Regulate AI After Lengthly Debate

Despite worries that the regulations would tax small companies, limit innovation, and make Connecticut an anomaly, the state’s Senate approved a plan to govern artificial intelligence.

Following extensive discussion, the bill was finally passed by a vote of 24 to 12. It contains provisions concerning deepfake images of naked bodies created without consent. The bill seeks to combat algorithm-based discrimination, create a broadband outreach program to supply devices and services to state residents without access to broadband and establish an online AI academy to help residents train with AI.

Despite Governor Ned Lamont’s assertion that the restrictions would limit innovation, Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) has denied these claims. Collaborating on the matter, lawmakers from Connecticut, Texas, Colorado, Alaska, Virginia, and Georgia have found themselves smack dab in the center of a heated national dispute over the fundamental elements of the bill, which has civil rights advocacy organizations and the industry on their side.

Senate Minority Leader Stephen Harding expressed concerns that senators from Connecticut were being pressured to vote on the session’s most complex bill before it adjourns on May 8. Gov. Ned Lamont and several prominent Democrats in Connecticut are worried that the measure could hurt a new business.

The measure seeks to safeguard consumers, renters, and workers by addressing concerns of AI discrimination based on age, religion, disability, and other protected classifications. Additionally, it mandates digital watermarks on AI-generated photographs to ensure transparency and criminalizes the dissemination of deepfake adult content and misleading AI-generated media in political campaigns. Certain AI users will have to institute new regulations and processes to eradicate the possibility of AI bias.

The law establishes a new virtual AI Academy where Connecticut citizens may enroll in AI courses and guarantees that AI training will be a component of workforce development programs and other training efforts in the state. Proponents argue that businesses should be compelled to provide customers with more information before they can use AI to make choices about them.