Olympia, Wash. – In the rapidly advancing world of artificial intelligence (A.I.), distinguishing between what is genuinely original and what is the product of AI is becoming increasingly challenging. This scenario echoes the transformative early phase of the internet, where technological advancements necessitated legal evolution. Understanding this critical juncture, Senator Matt Boehnke, R-Kennewick, is committed to ensuring that Washington State’s governance keeps pace with the advancements in A.I.
To address this pressing issue, Boehnke introduced Senate Bill 5957 on the opening day of the 2024 Washington State legislative session. This bill mandates the Office of Privacy and Data Protection to formulate comprehensive guidelines governing A.I. use. The legislation enjoys widespread bipartisan support, backed by Senators Dhingra, Dozier, Hasegawa, Lilas, Short, and Warnick.
“As A.I. reshapes our world, it’s imperative that our laws evolve at the same pace to ensure responsible use of this transformative technology. Senate Bill 5957 represents a crucial step towards achieving that goal,” Boehnke said. “In the era of A.I., safeguarding personal information while promoting ethical use of technology is not just an option. It’s a necessity. This bill is a testament to our commitment to these values.”
Senate Bill 5957 proposes amendments to RCW 43.105.020 by adding a precise definition of A.I. Additionally, it aims to revise RCW 43.105.369 by introducing guidelines for A.I. utilization. These changes are crucial to guarantee the ethical, transparent, accountable, and responsible deployment of AI technologies, emphasizing the enhancement of the security of personal information.
“Through SB 5957, we’re defining A.I. and setting a standard for its ethical application. It’s about striking a balance between technological advancement and personal privacy,” Boehnke said. “The introduction of SB 5957 marks a pivotal moment in legislative history – adapting our legal framework to address the rapid evolution of AI, ensuring it serves the people ethically and responsibly.”
The bill was introduced on Jan. 8 and referred to the Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, where Sen. Nguyen, D-White Center, is chair. Boehnke is joined by leading Republican Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, and Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy.