In February, Congress launched a bipartisan Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (Task Force) that is chaired by Representatives Jay Obernolte (R-CA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA). The Task Force will develop a report that lays out guiding principles and recommendations for AI policy. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said in a press release, “Because advancements in artificial intelligence have the potential to rapidly transform our economy and our society, it is important for Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to understand and plan for both the promises and the complexities of this transformative technology.”

Representative Darrell Issa, a member of the Task Force, has focused heavily on AI in his role as Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. Shortly before the announcement he held a field hearing in Los Angeles on the issue. It was the second hearing in a series of three hearings so far on AI and intellectual property. The first hearing focused on the extent to which works created by generative AI are protected by copyright laws and how content used to train AI is protected under the law. The second hearing explored personal identity and how AI can be used to imitate individuals’ voices and likenesses to create content. Witnesses included recording artist Lainey Wilson; Harvey Mason Jr., President of the Recording Academy; Christopher Mohr, President of the Software and Information Industry Association; and Jennifer Rothman, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Some witnesses expressed support for the No Artificial Intelligence Fake Replicas and Unauthorized Duplications (No AI Fraud) Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Representatives Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Madeleine Dean (D-PA). It is designed to protect all Americans, including artists, from unauthorized use of their voice or likeness. Representative Dean attended the hearing and highlighted the importance of balancing creative ability with protecting the public from malicious content created using AI. Mr. Mason said in his written statement that the legislation was widely supported by artists and actors. Chairman Issa noted that even though the committee was there to receive feedback on possible legislation, the information from witnesses would also be used to seek more enforcement from federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission that have the authority to protect individuals from deceptive practices. Representative Lieu, Task Force chair, also participated in the hearing and focused his questions on how works created by AI are impacted by copyright law. 

After the hearing, Chairman Issa held a roundtable discussion with stakeholders from the entertainment industry. In a statement made after the roundtable, he said, “If Congress is going to develop a full understanding of A.I. and our legislative role in its current state and future development, it’s imperative that we hear directly from the corporations, creators, and developers already using it and who stand to be the most impacted by its limitless potential.”

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