Strict AI Regulations Could Hinder Federal Agencies: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

Advanced AI has potential to help the government, but sweeping regs could be an issue.

AI and Technology Sector in Washington Regulations
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As Congress mulls a new regulatory regime to police AI (artificial intelligence), consider that many federal agencies already have strong oversight over AI in a variety of forms and in many sectors of the economy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has for years had a framework to regulate AI tools in medicine, including devices. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has highlighted how its authority, over recalls and other policy tools, covers AI risk. Similarly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has driverless-car policies. 

Others with enforcement tools: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 

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Though federal regs may need to be modernized for emerging AI tech, there are concerns that Congress will step on the toes of federal agencies with a sweeping AI law that could usurp agency power and hinder a range of work. Another worry is extra red tape that affects all sorts of businesses, big and small.

Meanwhile, federal agencies already use AI in their day-to-day policy work — monitoring securities markets, doing complex wireless spectrum auctions and more. 

New generative AI services could help even more. The Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is already mulling it for examiners, who could use it to speed up tedious research. But a new law that clamps down on generative AI could hinder its use in government.

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.

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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.