Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our lives, with more products and services coming onto the market as the technology continues to develop. However, concerns about the potential misuse or unintended consequences of AI have prompted efforts to examine and develop standards for creating reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI systems.
In a previous blog post, we discussed national and international policies on AI and how they affect the grand funding ecosystem. Unbeknownst to many, a growing number of state legislations are being developed in addition to federal law. While none currently address grant funding specifically, it is important for potential applicants to be aware of new developments in the industry that may affect their ability to use AI in their funding campaign.
In the 2023 legislative session, at least 25 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia introduced artificial intelligence bills, and 15 states and Puerto Rico adopted resolutions or enacted legislation. These state-based legislative measures aim to regulate the use of AI and ensure that it is not used in a discriminatory or harmful manner.
- Connecticut, for instance, has required its state agencies to conduct an inventory of all AI systems in use and perform ongoing assessments to prevent unlawful discrimination.
- Louisiana has requested a study on the impact of AI in operations, procurement, and policy.
- Maryland has established a technology grant program to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises in implementing new “industry 4.0” technology that includes AI.
- North Dakota has defined a person as an individual, organization, government, political subdivision, government agency, or instrumentality and specified that the term does not include environmental elements, AI, animals, or inanimate objects.
- Texas has created an AI advisory council to study and monitor AI systems developed, employed, or procured by state agencies, with North Dakota, Puerto Rico, and West Virginia also creating similar councils. These councils aim to ensure that AI systems are developed and implemented in a responsible and ethical manner, benefiting society as a whole. State lawmakers are also considering AI’s benefits and challenges, and a growing number of measures are being introduced to study the impact of AI or algorithms and the potential roles of policymakers.
- For instance, California recently passed a bill that requires companies to disclose when they use bots to interact with customers, while New York has introduced a bill that would create a task force to study the impact of automation on jobs.
This is an important development for potential grant applicants or grant awardees to be aware of. Not only is it critical to comply with federal regulation, but your individual state may have additional considerations that must be taken into account. These may relate to using AI to research funding, prepare your proposal, or perform evaluation and reporting for awarded grants.
State-based legislation for AI is an essential step towards regulating the development and implementation of AI systems. These legislative measures ensure that AI is developed and used in an ethical and responsible manner, benefiting society as a whole. As AI technology continues to advance, it is important for state legislators to keep a close eye on its development and take necessary steps to ensure that it is not misused or has unintended consequences. Our team is also keeping a watchful eye on policy developments to ensure compliance.
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