Artificial Intelligence

New Utah law protects consumers from artificial intelligence fraud

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox recently signed Senate Bill 149 (Artificial Intelligence Amendments) into law, in a move aimed at protecting consumers from potential scams or deceit by artificial intelligence systems.

The law also commits the state to learning more about the new technology and ways it can help or hurt it’s residents.

Instead of holding A.I. or A.I. companies accountable for any consumer fraud, the law places accountability on the businesses that use A.I. to interact with customers.

“You can’t blame the A.I. You have to take responsibility in your interaction with the consumer,” said Margaret Woolley Bussee, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce.

The law enhances transparency for customers. They can demand to know whether an online customer service representative they are interacting with is an A.I. chatbot or a real human.

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Ensuring the law has teeth will require that consumers report any problems with A.I. to the Utah division of consumer protection.

Woolley Bussee stated that protecting consumers is only one part of the law. It also allocates funds for the creation of a learning and policy lab that will hire experts to stay on top of A.I. technology and understand its evolving nature.

“There are a lot of amazing opportunities we can use A.I. for in our state,” she said.

Woolley Bussee added that the lab would assist startup businesses in understanding how they can use A.I. safely.

The lab will also monitor A.I. to anticipate future and unknown problems before they cause harm.

She emphasized the need to avoid a repeat of what happened with social media, where harm to children and consumers occurred rapidly, catching everyone by surprise and making it difficult to regulate social media companies after the harm was done.

“We don’t want the same thing to happen. We want to keep our eyes on A.I.,” she said.

She stated that this approach would enable Utah law to keep pace with changes in the new technology.

Brandon Amacher, a cybersecurity professor at UVU, expressed support for Utah lawmakers passing legislation to address A.I., which is changing and evolving faster than anticipated.

“The safer and more secure we can make the public feel about implementing A.I. into their business, their everyday life, their consumer habits, the better it will be for everyone,” he said.


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