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Washington State News

AG Ferguson proposes creation of bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Task Force

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today he is partnering with Sen. Joe Nguyen, D-White Center, and Rep. Travis Couture, R-Allyn, to propose legislation in the 2024 session to create an Artificial Intelligence Task Force. The task force will convene industry representatives, civil liberty groups, subject matter experts and other stakeholders to discuss AI benefits and risks and make recommendations to the Legislature.

“Washington is on the cutting edge of innovation,” Ferguson said. “It is imperative that we embrace new technology in a thoughtful way. As we celebrate the benefits, we must also ensure we protect against the potential for irresponsible use and unintentional consequences.”

AI technology is rapidly developing. In particular, generative AI – AI that creates content such as text, images or audio – has exploded in popularity. Tools like ChatGPT have become some of the fastest growing consumer internet applications of all time.

According to a recent survey, 79% of respondents in North America reported at least some exposure to generative AI. Forty-one percent report using it regularly, and 22% say they are using it regularly at work.

Senate Bill 5838 and House Bill 1934 will create a bipartisan, 42-member task force with representatives from the Legislature, state agencies, tribes, technology experts, civil liberty advocates, consumer advocates, businesses and other stakeholders. The task force will meet at least twice a year, and deliver a preliminary report to the Governor and the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2025, with final findings and recommendations due June 1, 2027.

The findings and recommendations will include, for example:

  • A recommended set of guiding principles for generative artificial intelligence use.
  • Identification of high-risk uses of artificial intelligence, including those that may negatively affect safety or fundamental rights.
  • Opportunities to support and protect the innovation of generative artificial intelligence technologies.
  • Recommendations as to how the state should educate to the public on the development and use of generative artificial intelligence.
  • A review of public policy issues, including benefits and risks to the public broadly, historically excluded communities, racial equity considerations, workforce impacts and ethical concerns.

At least 25 states have introduced legislation related to AI. Four states – Colorado, Illinois, Vermont and Virginia – have created task forces or commissions to study AI.

Every legislative session Attorney General Ferguson introduces a slate of Attorney General Request bills. The majority pass with bipartisan support. More on the history of this work is available here.