Sens. Hawley, Blumenthal Tell AI Companies No Section 230 for You!

June 18th, 2023 2:32 PM

Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced legislation that would prevent generative artificial intelligence companies from taking advantage of Section 230 immunity.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act limited tech platforms' legal liability for the content that users post or upload. Hawley and Blumenthal propose amendments to Section 230 to prevent AI companies from taking advantage of the law to the detriment of the public. If passed, the bill would hold creators of lifelike false images using AI to be held accountable in court.

In a press release, Hawley said the bill should be passed to prevent lawmakers from making “the same mistakes” with AI as they did with Big Tech when it comes to Section 230.

“We can’t make the same mistakes with generative AI as we did with Big Tech on Section 230," Hawley said. "When these new technologies harm innocent people, the companies must be held accountable. Victims deserve their day in court and this bipartisan proposal will make that a reality.”

Blumenthal added that the legislation is a step toward imposing adequate guardrails for AI development.

"AI companies should be forced to take responsibility for business decisions as they’re developing products—without any Section 230 legal shield," Blumenthal said. "This legislation is the first step in our effort to write the rules of AI and establish safeguards as we enter this new era. AI platform accountability is a key principle of a framework for regulation that targets risk and protects the public."

The press release also noted that the No Section 230 Immunity for AI Act will “empower Americans harmed by generative AI models to sue AI companies in federal or state court.” 

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