Washington state passes bill to create AI task force – Repairer Driven News

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Washington state passes bill to create AI task force

on April 17, 2024

Washington recently passed a bill creating a 19-member task force to study AI and make legislative recommendations by July 1, 2026. 

The bill, SB5838, was proposed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson and sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D- 35). It passed the Senate Feb. 8 with a 31-18 vote. It passed the House 68-28 and was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee March 18. 

“AI is becoming a part of our daily lives, and it’s our duty to immediately begin working in a thoughtful way to ensure we protect Washingtonians against this technology’s risks while maximizing its benefits,” Ferguson said in a press release. “I appreciate the Legislature’s partnership, and I look forward to launching an inclusive task force that will develop recommendations to guide public policy in this important arena.”

The committee is tasked with reviewing public policy and existing protections, identifying high-risk uses, racial equity and civil liberty issues along with recommending guiding principles, regulatory structure, and opportunities for innovation. 

Multiple state offices will be represented on the task force including the state auditor and attorney general’s office. Other members will come from the public sector including one member representing the LGBTQ+ community and others representing the retail industry, hospitality industry, and labor organizations. 

There doesn’t appear to be a seat for the state’s insurance commissioner, which repair shops often lean on for guidance connected to insurance practices. Nor does the task force have a seat for the repair industry. However, the law does leave room for other industries to be represented through seats on subcommittees. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) late last year approved a model bulletin on the use of AI by insurance companies during the association’s 2023 Fall National Meeting.

It outlines the need for processes and controls to prevent possible AI inaccuracies, discriminating biases, and data vulnerabilities.

Another AI bill, SB972, proposed earlier this year in Florida by Sen. Joe Gruters (R-22) won’t be moving forward. The bill would have designated the Department of Management Service to oversee an Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council.

The Florida bill died in the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee on March 8.


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