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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

NE legislature to hear bills regulating artificial intelligence

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Wednesday, February 28, 2024   

In the 2023 legislative season, 25 states introduced legislation related to artificial intelligence and more than a dozen states enacted AI regulations.

This year, at least 30 states have pending AI legislation. Nebraska is among them, with two AI-related bills scheduled for hearings today. Legislative Bill 1203, introduced by Sen. John Cavanaugh, D-Omaha, would require what he called "conspicuous disclosure" when political advertising is created with the use of artificial intelligence.

"Artificial intelligence is going to be everywhere, and it's getting better and better," Cavanaugh pointed out. "We need to make sure that Nebraskans know that the information they're getting is either real or manufactured."

Cavanaugh stressed there is no requirement for political advertising to be truthful, and the only "truthfulness" his bill requires is disclosing when AI is used. And the disclosure statement cannot be subtle. In fact, in a print ad, it has to be in the same size print as the rest of the ad. In the case of audio, it must be recorded at the same volume.

Cavanaugh does not agree with those who say it is too soon to start regulating AI because it is not well enough understood yet.

"I think at this point, there's a lot of folks who are still trying to figure out what we can do about artificial intelligence," Cavanaugh observed. "I would say that our bill is a fairly modest approach to dealing with artificial intelligence, and that there's probably a lot more things we should be doing."

Nor is he swayed by the argument people will find ways to circumvent regulations.

"The fact that people might continue to run afoul of it or game the system is not an argument not to do something," Cavanaugh contended. "We need to start taking steps. And if people game the system, we can take the next steps to make sure that it's still effective or is effective."

Both Cavanaugh's bill and one by Sen. Eliot Bostar, D-Lincoln, Legislative Bill 1390, which addresses political "deepfakes" as well as intimidation of or interference with election officials and employees, have their first hearing today at 1:30 p.m. in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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