State lawmakers are pursuing a variety of legislative proposals aimed at regulating the development and use of artificial intelligence (“AI”).  In the past two months, legislators in Florida, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington passed legislation regulating AI-generated content, and Utah’s legislature passed legislation regulating generative AI and establishing a state test bed for evaluating future AI regulations.  These are just a sampling of the wave of legislative proposals advancing in states across the country.

Legislation Addressing AI-Generated Content.  Several state legislatures have passed legislation setting forth requirements for AI-generated content.  As of the date of this writing, the New Mexico law referenced below has been fully enacted, while the other pieces of legislation are awaiting signature by the governors of the relevant states.

  • Election Content:  State legislatures have passed laws focused specifically on AI-generated election content.  For example, New Mexico’s recently enacted HB 182 requires disclaimers for materially deceptive AI-generated ads and amends the New Mexico Campaign Reporting Act to prohibit the distribution of materially deceptive media before an election without a disclaimer.  Utah’s SB 131, which was passed by the state legislature, would require disclaimers for political communications that include synthetic media.  Similarly, Florida’s state legislature passed HB 919, which would require disclaimers for political ads that contain content created using generative AI. 
  • AI-generated CSAM:  Washington’s legislature passed a bill in recent weeks, HB 1999, which would ban the possession of AI-generated child sexual abuse material (“CSAM”) and the disclosure of AI-generated intimate imagery. 

Generative AI Legislation.  On February 28, 2024, the Utah legislature passed the AI Policy Act (SB 149), which now awaits the governor’s signature.  The bill would require disclaimers for certain interactions with generative AI, clarify civil and criminal liability for acts involving generative AI, and establish a state AI Learning Laboratory Program to test new AI regulations.  Among other things, the AI Policy Act would require disclosures to consumers in certain contexts to make clear that they are interacting with generative AI, not a human.  The bill also would create an AI Learning Laboratory for AI research that would bring together public and private companies to provide recommendations for AI legislation and regulation.

We are closely monitoring these developments as they unfold.  You can find a summary of key themes in AI bills introduced by state legislatures in the past year in our blog post here.

We will continue to update you on meaningful developments related to artificial intelligence and technology regulation here and across our blogs.

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Photo of Jennifer Johnson Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is a partner specializing in communications, media and technology matters who serves as Co-Chair of Covington’s Technology Industry Group and its global and multi-disciplinary Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) Groups. She represents and advises technology companies, content distributors…

Jennifer Johnson is a partner specializing in communications, media and technology matters who serves as Co-Chair of Covington’s Technology Industry Group and its global and multi-disciplinary Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) Groups. She represents and advises technology companies, content distributors, television companies, trade associations, and other entities on a wide range of media and technology matters. Jennifer has almost three decades of experience advising clients in the communications, media and technology sectors, and has held leadership roles in these practices for almost twenty years. On technology issues, she collaborates with Covington’s global, multi-disciplinary team to assist companies navigating the complex statutory and regulatory constructs surrounding this evolving area, including product counseling and technology transactions related to connected and autonomous vehicles, internet connected devices, artificial intelligence, smart ecosystems, and other IoT products and services. Jennifer serves on the Board of Editors of The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.

Jennifer assists clients in developing and pursuing strategic business and policy objectives before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress and through transactions and other business arrangements. She regularly advises clients on FCC regulatory matters and advocates frequently before the FCC. Jennifer has extensive experience negotiating content acquisition and distribution agreements for media and technology companies, including program distribution agreements, network affiliation and other program rights agreements, and agreements providing for the aggregation and distribution of content on over-the-top app-based platforms. She also assists investment clients in structuring, evaluating, and pursuing potential investments in media and technology companies.

August Gweon

August Gweon counsels national and multinational companies on data privacy, cybersecurity, antitrust, and technology policy issues, including issues related to artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. August leverages his experiences in AI and technology policy to help clients understand complex technology developments, risks…

August Gweon counsels national and multinational companies on data privacy, cybersecurity, antitrust, and technology policy issues, including issues related to artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. August leverages his experiences in AI and technology policy to help clients understand complex technology developments, risks, and policy trends.

August regularly provides advice to clients for complying with federal, state, and global privacy and competition frameworks and AI regulations. He also assists clients in investigating compliance issues, preparing for federal and state privacy regulations like the California Privacy Rights Act, responding to government inquiries and investigations, and engaging in public policy discussions and rulemaking processes.

Photo of Jayne Ponder Jayne Ponder

Jayne Ponder is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Jayne’s practice focuses on a broad range of privacy, data security, and technology issues. She provides ongoing privacy and data protection…

Jayne Ponder is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Jayne’s practice focuses on a broad range of privacy, data security, and technology issues. She provides ongoing privacy and data protection counsel to companies, including on topics related to privacy policies and data practices, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and cyber and data security incident response and preparedness.

Photo of Hensey A. Fenton III Hensey A. Fenton III

Hensey Fenton specializes in providing advice and guidance to clients on legislative and regulatory strategies. Hensey counsels clients on a myriad of issues in the policy and regulatory space, including issues involving cybersecurity, financial services, artificial intelligence, digital assets, international trade and development…

Hensey Fenton specializes in providing advice and guidance to clients on legislative and regulatory strategies. Hensey counsels clients on a myriad of issues in the policy and regulatory space, including issues involving cybersecurity, financial services, artificial intelligence, digital assets, international trade and development, and tax.

Another facet of Hensey’s practice involves cutting-edge legal issues in the cybersecurity space. Having published scholarly work in the areas of cybersecurity and cyberwarfare, Hensey keeps his finger on the pulse of this fast-developing legal field. His Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law article, “Proportionality and its Applicability in the Realm of Cyber Attacks,” was highlighted by the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal as one of the most important and timely articles on cyber, technology and the law. Hensey counsels clients on preparing for and responding to cyber-based attacks. He regularly engages with government and military leaders to develop national and global strategies for complex cyber issues and policy challenges.

Hensey’s practice also includes advising international clients on various policy, legal and regulatory challenges, especially those challenges facing developing nations in the Middle East. Armed with a distinct expertise in Middle Eastern foreign policy and the Arabic language, Hensey brings a multi-faceted approach to his practice, recognizing the specific policy and regulatory concerns facing clients in the region.

Hensey is also at the forefront of important issues involving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). He assists companies in developing inclusive and sustainable DEI strategies that align with and incorporate core company values and business goals.

Prior to joining Covington, Hensey served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He also served as a Diplomatic Fellow in the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representation (i.e. Embassy) in Washington, DC.