All AI Regulations Are Not Created Equal: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

Tech advocates push Congress to define different types of AI as regulations emerge.

Artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning isometric infographic
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The world of AI is constantly evolving, and regulators are trying to keep up. To help you understand what is going on and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly-experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest...

As a groundswell builds for the federal government to tighten regs on AI, deciding exactly what to regulate, and how to do it, will be difficult. 

The sudden burst of attention centers on one specific emerging AI technology: generative AI, such as ChatGPT, which uses written text prompts to churn out content that is remarkably human-like. But all of AI tech is often swept up in today’s debate. 

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One of the key things to watch: how Congress defines AI. AI is widely used in numerous applications that don’t pose the same risks to safety, copyright, privacy and other factors. Other areas making use of it include enhancing wireless networks, medical diagnostics and earth science. Plus, AI has been used for years in everything from e-mail spam filtering to translation to music recommendations to robotics.

Some ideas to thread the needle:

  • Separate “high-risk AI systems” from others that pose less risk. 
  • Make explicit exceptions for what’s not covered. 
  • Give consumers more transparency when it comes to results that come from ChatGPT and other generative AI tools
  • Pass a federal privacy law to address consumer data.

Tech advocates are worried about hindering U.S. innovation with new laws and are pushing Congress to clarify existing regulations that already address AI. Regs that treat all areas of AI the same would hinder lots of everyday tech. All of these knotty challenges will rear their heads as new bills get written.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

John Miley
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

John Miley is a Senior Associate Editor at The Kiplinger Letter. He mainly covers technology, telecom and education, but will jump on other important business topics as needed. In his role, he provides timely forecasts about emerging technologies, business trends and government regulations. He also edits stories for the weekly publication and has written and edited e-mail newsletters.

He joined Kiplinger in August 2010 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, where he wrote stories, fact-checked articles and researched investing data. After two years at the magazine, he moved to the Letter, where he has been for the last decade. He holds a BA from Bates College and a master’s degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University, where he specialized in business reporting. An avid runner and a former decathlete, he has written about fitness and competed in triathlons.