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Senate committee moves ahead with two measures tackling AI

Sen. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) presents SR 476 at a meeting of the Senate Science and Technology Committee on March 18, 2024.
Sen. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) presents SR 476 at a meeting of the Senate Science and Technology Committee on March 18, 2024.

A committee of state lawmakers has moved forward with two measures related to artificial intelligence.

Both proposals were approved unanimously at a meeting yesterday of the Georgia Senate Science and Technology Committee. Senate Resolution 476 would create a study committee on AI, consisting of six state senators, along with experts from business, law, and academia.

“AI is becoming not only more prominent in the minds of our citizens, but more implemented really across our culture,” said Senator Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), who chairs the Science and Technology Committee.

House Bill 988 also addresses AI; it directs the Georgia Technology Authority to do an audit of how state agencies are using AI and report back to legislators before next year’s legislative session.

That bill also contains some newly added language that prohibits state and local governments from using drones that are not on a federal list of approved manufacturers. Those provisions come after warnings earlier this year from the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency about possible spying from Chinese-made drones.

“The FBI, Homeland Security, everybody else who is involved in intelligence in the US, has constantly reminded us lately that the drones that we purchase or use are subject to being used to do espionage, especially by the Chinese,” said Tom Rawlings, an attorney who helped draft the drone language.

Both SR 476 and HB 988 passed out of committee with favorable reports.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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