February 8, 2024 Click for PDF 2023 was a big year for the legal, regulatory, and policy landscape around artificial intelligence (“AI”). Public debate and the use of AI capabilities hit a fever pitch. A lot of the legal frameworks that made strides in 2023 go way back before the rise of generative AI. The European Union’s (“EU”) AI Act almost got derailed by the emergence of foundation models and general purpose AI, but it’s now on track to become the first comprehensive AI law, directly regulating AI systems based on risk with consequences that stretch beyond EU borders. The U.S. is still relying on a mostly self-regulatory approach to AI. Even though a federal framework didn’t happen, the landscape is still changing. The White House put out an executive order, private sector is getting involved, and regulatory guidance is being shaped by different agencies like the FTC, DOJ, EEOC, SEC, and CFPB. There’s also a lot of talk in the Senate about developing AI legislative frameworks.
At the federal and state level, focus has grown sharper on the improper use of protected data to develop models and improve products and services. 2024 promises more of the same. In a year of elections and with AI becoming a bigger global issue, governments are experimenting with different regulatory models to govern foundation models and other types of AI to achieve political, societal, and geopolitical goals. This is happening alongside changes in societal norms and understandings about the risks of AI across different legal domains.
Competition authorities around the world are showing more interest in the market impacts of leading AI companies. The EU’s AI Act will require all companies using AI in their products and services in the EU to assess their risk profile and potential liability under the new framework. Similar comprehensive AI laws are being debated around the world. In the U.S., agencies like the FTC and California’s Privacy Protection Agency are getting more involved in the fast-changing AI space. There’s also going to be a focus on data governance and usage in high-risk spaces like employment, insurance, and healthcare, as well as changes to intellectual property laws thanks to guidance from the U.S. Copyright Office and court rulings in high-profile lawsuits. Our AI Review and Outlook – 2024 is going to track these legal, regulatory developments, and other policy updates in the U.S. and the EU, to keep an eye on what’s happening in 2024.
There are a lot of key developments happening, from the EU’s AI Act to the White House AI Executive Order to IP-related litigation and other legislative and regulatory developments in the U.S. around AI and employment law.
In the EU, things have been moving with the AI Act, which is going to broadly regulate AI systems based on risk and impose specific requirements on foundation models. The White House’s AI Executive Order is going to create new AI standards and guidelines across federal agencies and put affirmative reporting requirements on foundation model developers. The FTC’s enforcement focus and resolution to streamline the agency’s ability to issue civil investigative demands (CIDs) is also something to watch. Then there’s also IP-related litigation and policy developments with respect to protections for AI-generated works and copyright infringement.
In the U.S., the White House’s AI Executive Order has big goals to ensure AI safety and security, promote responsible innovation and deal with forthcoming IP issues, take care of American workers and protect civil rights. There’s a lot happening in terms of legal and regulatory changes, and it’s an exciting time to see where it all leads.