NTIA Plans AI Review, Section 230 AI Bill, FCC Announces More ECF Funding

The NTIA announced how it will address President Biden’s executive order on AI.

NTIA Plans AI Review, Section 230 AI Bill, FCC Announces More ECF Funding
Photo of Sen. Josh Hawley taken 2022 by Gage Skidmore

December 14, 2023 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced at an event hosted by the Centerfor Democracy and Technology Wednesday its intention to develop a plan to review artificial intelligence models.

President Joe Biden’s recent sweeping AI-focused regulatory executive order requires the Commerce agency to review all the risks and benefits of AI models. 

To meet those requirements, the NTIA’s review will assess the risk posed by open AI models, the benefits of competition present in the AI market, and potential regulatory moves to mitigate risks from openness. 

The NTIA is heavily concerned with looking at how open AI models are, which refers to the fact that AI development and methods are public. Dual-use foundation models, which are behind things like chatbots, are widely available and a main subject of regulatory investigation for the NTIA.  

NTIA head Alan Davidson said the country “will only realize the promise of AI if we also address the serious risks it raises. This project will seek policies that promote both safety and allow for broad access to AI tools.”

Coalition opposes Section 230 AI bill

A coalition of organizations, such as think tanks TechFreedom and R Street Institute, opposed in a letter on Monday legislation that would remove any liability immunity for AI-generated content on platforms, arguing such content is already prevalent on many websites. 

The legislation put forth by Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and called the Hawley-Blumenthal No Section 230 Immunity for AI Act, would remove protections for such content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

“The now widespread deployment of AI for content composition, recommendation, and moderation would effectively render any website or app liable for virtually all content posted to them,” the opposition letter said.  

Signatories added that the legislation would erode the broad and nationwide efficacy of Section 230 by tacking on circumstantial liable entities — that being online social services when they integrate AI tools into their platforms. 

The letter adds that placing liability on social sites would be unfair if the user relied on AI to make content, that the act disincentivizes generative AI tools by forcing online sites to forgo them, and that it will make content moderation more difficult by not letting online sites harness AI to moderate content on the platform. 

FCC announces more ECF funding  

The Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday that it is committing over $450,000 in additional funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. 

The funding announcement will go toward assisting nearly 1,000 students, according to a press release.  

The ECF provides connectivity assistance when students are away from school. 

“The Homework Gap remains a serious challenge for today’s students and families. This funding is a vital investment that helps ensure everyone who counts on schools and libraries can get the connections they need to thrive in the digital age,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

The ECF launched in 2021 and has to date allocated $7.09 billion of its $7.17 billion in funding. 

Popular Tags