The Section 230 Loophole and Deep Fakes
President Biden’s recent executive order on artificial intelligence (AI) aims to establish best practices and standards for AI models. However, there are two significant omissions that may hinder its effectiveness. The first is the failure to address the Section 230 loophole provided by the Communications Decency Act. This loophole protects social media platforms from liability for distributing AI-generated content, including deep fakes and misinformation. Without holding platforms accountable, the spread of harmful content may continue, undermining the order’s intentions.
The Need to Address Terms of Service
The second omission in President Biden’s AI order relates to the terms of service that users often agree to without reading. These terms can be binding contracts, allowing companies to impose one-sided and potentially illegal or unethical practices. This creates another liability loophole, as companies can claim that users have consented to these practices. This bypasses the standards and best practices set by advisory panels and undermines the order’s attempt to regulate AI.
Enforcement and Liability are Essential
To ensure the effectiveness of the AI executive order, enforcement mechanisms and the threat of lawsuits must be in place. The provisions should limit Section 230 immunity and establish compliance standards for platforms. These standards should include content review and takedown procedures, reporting mechanisms, and minimum response times to external concerns. Additionally, companies should be prohibited from using terms of service to bypass industry standards and rules.
Avoiding Past Mistakes
The lessons learned from the past two decades should guide the regulation of AI. Self-regulation for Big Tech has proven inadequate, and broad immunity for profit-seeking corporations creates harmful incentives. As the AI industry grows in competitiveness, companies are likely to prioritize growth over safety. Therefore, legal liability is necessary to ensure compliance with standards and protect the public interest.
In conclusion, President Biden’s AI executive order holds promise, but the omissions regarding the Section 230 loophole and terms of service need to be addressed. By implementing enforcement mechanisms and establishing liability, the order can effectively regulate AI and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.