US Senators Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, introduced a bill in the Senate on June 14 that would remove the special protections afforded to online computer service providers under the Privacy Act. Decency in Communications, 1996.
Today â ¦@SenBlumenthalâ© and I introduce the first bipartisan AI bill – putting power in the hands of consumers to sue when AI harms them. It’s landmark protection for Americans, and more to come https://t.co/10rJOr5IP3
—Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 14, 2023
Section 230 refers to the text found in title 47, section 230 of the code resulting from the approval of the Decency Law. grant specifically protection of online service providers from liability for content posted by users. It also grants providers immunity from prosecution for illegal content, provided good faith efforts are made to remove such content once discovered.
Opponents of section 230 have argued which exempts social media platforms and other online service providers from liability for the content they host. The Supreme Court of the United States is uttered recently against amending section 230 in light of a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs sought to hold social media companies liable for damages suffered from the platform’s alleged hosting and promotion of terrorism-related content.
According to the Supreme Court ruling, a social networking site cannot be held responsible for the suggestions made by the algorithms it uses to surface content, just as an email or mobile phone service provider cannot be responsible for content transmitted through its services.
The Supreme Court recently punted on deciding the future of Section 230. But how long will the status quo remain in place? Next week on 6/21, join us for a discussion on this with Benjamin Wittes, @qjurecic, @tewheelsand @alexanderabdo.
— The Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst) June 14, 2023
However, at the moment it is not clear if section 230 actually applies to generative AI companies like Open AI and Google, creators of ChatGPT and Bard respectively.
During a recent appearance before the Senate, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman told US Senator Lindsey Graham that it appeared that Section 230 did not apply to his company. Pressed by Hawley, during the same hearing, that he asked Altman what he thought about a hypothetical situation in which Congress “opened the doors of the courts” and allowed people harmed by AI to testify in court, the CEO I repliedor: “Please forgive my ignorance, can’t people sue us?”
Although Article 230 does not specifically mention generative AI, it is possible that the debate about its relevance to generative AI technologies may come down to the definition of “online service”.
The GPT API, for example, underpins countless AI services in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. If Article 230 applies to generative AI technologies, it could be difficult to hold companies or individuals liable for damages resulting from misinformation or misadvice generated through AI.
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