(The Center Square) – The state of Illinois is entering into the world of artificial intelligence with possible regulations of the technology.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Thursday to address emerging issues in the AI industry.
State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, said lawmakers should not take the same approach with AI as they did with social media.
“Lawmakers decided to take a largely hands-off approach to regulation,” Gong-Gershowitz said. “We’ve seen the tangled web of societal ills that approach [that] was caused due to a lack of regulatory action.”
Gong-Gershowitz sponsored a measure to crack down on the abusive and harmful use of digital forgeries, also known as deepfakes. The law would create a civil cause of action against any person who knowingly distributes, creates or solicits a digital forgery of another individual without their consent and for the purposes of harassing, extorting, threatening or causing harm to the falsely depicted individual.
The Biden administration this week announced executive actions to try to establish oversight of the AI sector, including setting new standards for safety tests for AI products.
State Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, said AI should be embraced, but cautioned that some people are going to lose their jobs.
“While I would love to guarantee everyone’s job going forward, it is just not how the world has ever worked,” Ugaste said. “Every time we have innovation, as simple as innovation on trains, unfortunately someone has lost a job.”
Shawn Davis, director of technical investigations with the law firm Edelson PC, testified that there are many issues with AI that need to be monitored, including involving next year’s elections.
“There are concerns about AI-based tools being used to clone voices and images to impersonate candidates in the 2024 elections, which could mislead voters and spread disinformation,” Davis said.
Earlier this year, the Generative AI and Natural Language Processing Task Force was formed. Supporters said the task force is needed to track and study AI advancements and allow Illinois to stay informed. The task force is mostly vacant with members still to be appointed by the governor.