California Lawmakers Consider Restricting Artificial Intelligence

California Lawmakers Consider Restricting Artificial Intelligence

"Its effect on democracy requires us to act,” Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo said of artificial intelligence. Above, Ms. Carrillo at a women's march in Pershing Square in Los Angeles on Oct. 02, 2021. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Summer Lane
Summer Lane


Updated: 7/1/2024


The rise of artificial intelligence has sparked concerns among California lawmakers about its use in political advertisements and college classrooms, prompting calls for tighter restrictions on the emerging technology.
Assembly Bill 2355 seeks to mandate public disclosure of the use of AI in political advertisements if the technology is used to alter images, voices, or film from their original state.
The bill was authored by Democratic Assemblywomen Wendy Carrillo and Sabrina Cervantes. It passed in the Assembly in May without opposition and is now being heard in committee in the Senate.
“As this technology becomes cheaper, faster and easier for the public to use, and is embraced by candidates and political campaigns, its effect on democracy requires us to act,” Ms. Cabrillo told The Epoch Times June 28.
She said rapid improvements in AI technology have resulted in the creation of materials “that are likely to pass off as convincingly real, when they are fake.”
If the legislation reaches Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk and he signs it into law, it will take effect Jan. 1, 2025.
A 2023 report from the Center on Technology Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discussed the potential dangers of “generative AI platforms” such as ChatGTP and Anthropic’s Claude.
“[Generative AI platforms] could enable existing advertisers to create a higher volume of false content and new advertisers to enter the market and run false ads,” the report said.
Recent amendments to the bill will limit its implementation to state campaign committees, Ms. Cabrillo said.
“This change sets a strong precedent of making Generative AI disclosures a part of our existing transparency requirements,” she stated.
A different bill dealing with the developing technology was introduced also by Ms. Cervantes in February.
AB 2370 would establish explicit qualifications from the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges for faculty members. According to Ms. Cervantes’ office, such would protect community college students from being instructed by artificial intelligence.
The Faculty Association of Community Colleges has lent their support to the bill.
“We thank Assemblymember Cervantes and her staff for her hard work on this bill and look forward to Governor Newsom signing it into law,” they posted on social media after its approval in the Senate earlier this month.
The bill has now been sent to Gov. Newsom’s desk where he has the option to sign it into law or veto it.
“While there is room for artificial intelligence to contribute to community college classrooms, human faculty remain best suited to teach our students,” Ms. Cervantes said in a press release June 13.

Summer Lane is the bestselling author of 30 adventure books, including the hit "Collapse Series." She is a reporter and writer with years of experience in journalism and political analysis. Summer is a wife and mother and lives in the Central Valley of California.

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