Hawley Announces Guiding Principles for Future AI Legislation

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced his guiding principles for the future of American artificial intelligence (AI) legislation. Senator Hawley’s principles seek to protect Americans’ privacy as AI continues to develop at a pace that threatens to upend many aspects of American life.

“Congress can and should act to protect Americans’ privacy, stave off the harms of unchecked AI development, insulate kids from harmful impacts, and keep this valuable technology out of the hands of our adversaries,” said Senator Hawley. “Taken together, these five principles will help set the course for the responsible development of American AI.”

To guide future federal action, Senator Hawley proposed five guiding principles:

  • First, create private rights of action. Individual citizens should have the right to sue companies for harm inflicted by AI models in order to hold those corporations developing AI accountable.
  • Second, protect personal data. AI models should be prohibited from harvesting sensitive personal data without consent, with stiff penalties for misuse.
  • Third, enforce age limits on use. To shield minors from harmful effects of generative AI technology, companies should be proactively blocked from deploying or promoting these models to children.
  • Fourth, block technology to and from China. America should promote AI independence by blocking any importation of AI-related chips and technology from China, and by preventing American corporations from aiding China’s development of AI.
  • Fifth, establish a licensing system. To protect consumers and promote transparency, require generative entities working on generative AI models to obtain a license. 

In May, as the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, Senator Hawley held a hearing with Chairman Richard Blumenthal to conduct oversight on AI technology and appropriate safeguards. 

During the hearing, Senator Hawley questioned Sam Altman, the CEO of Open AI, and asked the witnesses if we need to “strike that balance between technological innovation and our ethical and moral responsibility to humanity.” The witnesses agreed that oversight from Congress is needed to protect the American people.

Continuing efforts to protect Americans from AI, Senators Hawley and Blumenthal sent a letter yesterday to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seeking information about the “leak” of its Large Language Model Meta AI (LLaMA) program.