Southern States Approaches to Regulating Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Decision-Making, and Machine Learning

In a brief nine-month period between late 2022 and early 2023, users in the United States conducted nearly 19 billion visits to the most popular generative artificial intelligence (AI) application on the web. These American users – more than 5.5 billion – represented more than 22 percent of these AI applications’ worldwide user base. Despite rising to prominence among the cultural zeitgeist, these tools are still in a state of early integration in business and public sector work, with the United States Census Buraeu’s Business Trends and Outlook Survey reporting that, as of November 28, 2023, less than 4 percent of U.S. businesses say they are using artificial intelligence to produce goods or services. Recognizing the urgent need to study how existing regulations apply and what new guardrails are needed for AI, state leaders are taking steps to understand this complex topic as its usage increasingly gains widespread commercial appeal.

In response to the proliferation of AI, state lawmakers across the U.S. introduced more than 780 pieces of legislation concerning aspects of artificial intelligence. From the first proposal filed in 2003 to the more than 200 measures proposed in 2023 alone, this issue has been on members’ minds for more than a decade.

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