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Connecticut’s landmark Artificial Intelligence bill clears the Senate

Hartford, CT – The Connecticut state Senate advanced a broad artificial intelligence (AI) bill today. If the bill is passed by the Connecticut House of Representatives and signed by Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut would become the first state in the nation to ratify a comprehensive AI bill. 

The landmark Connecticut AI bill, SB 2 introduces new consumer protections for the use of generative AI and AI decision-making tech, among other provisions. State lawmakers across the country are watching Connecticut’s bill, and several states have introduced bills based on the Connecticut legislation.

Of particular importance, the bill creates basic requirements for companies that develop and use AI to help make high-stakes decisions about consumers’ access to housing, employment, insurance, medical care, education, essential government services and more. Guardrails are important because AI decision technology can be biased, and can commit errors.

However, more work is needed to strengthen the bill, including:

  • Restore the requirement that companies disclose important information to a consumer before using AI to make high-stakes decisions about the consumer, including what personal information about the consumer is considered by the AI tool, and why that information is relevant.
  • Ensure that impact assessments are impartial by requiring that they be conducted by independent third parties, rather than by the company developing and selling AI products
  • Close broad loopholes for companies to withhold ‘confidential and proprietary’ information. Companies could use this provision to hide ordinary business information, rendering the disclosure requirements useless.
  • Strengthen enforcement provisions. Currently, enforcement of the first six sections of the bill rests solely with the attorney general. Attorneys general across the country are under-resourced given the number of laws they are charged with enforcing. Left as is, companies could count on infrequent enforcement, and may decide the risk of penalties is low enough that they need not comply with the bill if it becomes law.  

“We are appreciative of Senator Maroney and the Connecticut legislature’s work to address issues with this emerging technology,” said Grace Gedye, policy analyst for Consumer Reports. “With Congress struggling to push forward on setting new standards on AI, Connecticut is stepping up to shape policy. Because this could become the first broad AI bias law in the nation, it is critical to get it right. More work remains, especially around transparency requirements and enforcement.”

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org