Privacy Please

S5, E200 - Unpacking the Implications of New AI Legislation SB 1047

February 13, 2024 Cameron Ivey
Privacy Please
S5, E200 - Unpacking the Implications of New AI Legislation SB 1047
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how to keep your AI from turning into a sci-fi cautionary tale? California's Senate Bill 1047 might just be setting the blueprint, and we're unpacking its potential to navigate the tightrope between innovation and consumer safety. Plus, we pay tribute to Black History Month in true literary fashion, tipping our hats to James Baldwin's enduring wisdom in his piercing examination of race in America.

This episode isn't just a rundown; it's a journey through the trenches of tech and culture, where we spotlight California's daring stride into the domain of AI legislation and what it could mean for you. As we highlight CalCompute's mission to democratize AI and dissect measures to safeguard whistleblowers, we invite you to join us in a narrative that connects the dots between the pages of history and the code of the future. 

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Speaker 1:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of privacy, please. I'm your host, cameron Ivy, along with my other host, gabe gums. How we doing, doing well. We're doing good, we're solid, fantabulous. Are we living the dream or living la vida loca?

Speaker 2:

The dream a porqué.

Speaker 1:

I know porqué no los dos.

Speaker 2:

Why not both? Why not the? Dose the two to what the out for getting all those dogs. Why not both? I choose one when you can have them all that's true, that's very true.

Speaker 1:

Well, welcome, it's another lovely week, will we in the second week of February, second week forever?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, anyone who's listening to this, it's too late to a bunch of your significant other flowers. You don't mess up. If you listen to this and You're wondering how much time do I have left. The answer is it's too late.

Speaker 1:

It's true, but what you could do, hmm, well, it's gonna be too late to promote it, but we do have a day date tomorrow we do with Heidi sass. Yeah, if you're feeling, if you're feeling frisky and Want to join us on a live podcast edition of privacy, please, but this might air after that. So I don't know why I'm promoting it, but any who I'm traveling, you're just that hit time traveling.

Speaker 2:

So here's what you're gonna do listeners, you're gonna go listen to the recorded episode of that live, which will drop after you hear this episode. That's true, that's true, very true. That's the order of operations.

Speaker 1:

It's also February. What else do we celebrate in February? Gay, with some black history, if it is, it is no.

Speaker 2:

For a second I felt, put on this part, it's like oh wait, I know the answer. Oh Me, choose me. I know this one, I know this one Black history.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's the shortest month of the year as well. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, it's, uh, it's. It's a solid 28 days. It's larger than zero days, but it's less than you know 30. It's neither here nor there really like it's. It's a month.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a month, it's just another month. This is another month. Holidays are interesting, just ways to obviously make money. It seems there are like.

Speaker 2:

Even these awareness holidays get weird right Like because all the corporation try to cash in on them. Mm-hmm but, but here I'll give my. I'll give my standard black history month plug. Go read some James Baldwin this month. If you've never read him, go pick up some Baldwin and read, or maybe listen to a podcast about him, or maybe watch the documentary that PBS made about James Baldwin. Oh, he is. He is a writer, one of the one of the best writers of the 20th century, quite frankly.

Speaker 1:

What's a? Where can you? Where can you stream that Documentary? You know?

Speaker 2:

I think you can go to just like PBS or good PBS organ and like granite laser there, probably Netflix, I don't, so I don't 100% know it. So it was produced by PBS, so I'm certain that if you go to PBS or you know, it'll take a local station whenever find it from there. But um, the podcast reveal also has a great piece, not about him directly, but about someone who studied James Baldwin. So that's a great pick up. So if you don't mess with the podcast reveal, I'd highly recommend it anyway. There's one where they cover James Baldwin. I don't know, it's two or three episodes go worth a listen, but that's my Black History Month shout out.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I'll check that out. Go check out some.

Speaker 2:

James Baldwin. If you've never mess with James Baldwin, one of the best American writers of the 20th century, go do so.

Speaker 1:

And I would imagine he's an African American man.

Speaker 2:

He is, most certainly he's not related to Alec Baldwin no no no, he is the most African American of men, in fact, yeah, he's extremely African.

Speaker 1:

American. I'm going to be honest, I don't think I've. I don't know if I know him, Maybe if I've.

Speaker 2:

He probably will recognize his face when you see him. Maybe, maybe not, it's hard to say, it's really hard to say. But yeah, get familiar.

Speaker 1:

He wrote a lot of books. You're saying he wrote a number of books, I think the one he's.

Speaker 2:

One of the ones he's most famous for is one that's called Notes of a Native Son. Speaking of, you know, his being African American. He has a book that speaks about his experience as a Black man in America.

Speaker 1:

That's interesting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, he has another one. That and he was what you said. He was in the 20s, 20th century, 20th century 20th century okay. Yeah, he was writing in the 60s and 70s.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay, oh man, that was a lot of cocaine during that time and, yeah, a lot of things, A lot of things, a lot of things, a lot of things yeah, yeah, james was an interesting man, he was.

Speaker 2:

He's a lot of things he's. I mean the number of books he's written I don't know the number of there, it's probably north of 20 or so Most of the fiction, most of the fiction. I've not, admittedly, read a lot of his fiction. I've read most of his nonfiction, but I've read some of his fiction also and it's good stuff, it's pretty good stuff.

Speaker 1:

Well, maybe we'll, if you show us, share some of those. I'll add them into the show notes, if anybody's interested. Yeah, you know what We'll do, that We'll make that a thing, why not? So, anyways, let's jump in. So I'll let you kick it off, gabe.

Speaker 2:

So what are we talking about today? So we weren't going to do overreactions, but we wanted to cover some new legislation hitting the uh, hitting the California coast in particular, and so we've talked about this in the past. We suspected our soodseer friend in particular. He suspected that we were going to see more AI regulation. Right, we're going to see regulation around AI at all, and one of the general challenges is we still fail to see any, any meaningful hell. Even privacy regulation at the national level Right, and so, like California, decided to do their own thing and release CCPA. So, in a similar vein, california said well, we're not going to wait for the federal government to do anything about regulating AI, we're just going to go do it ourselves, because that's, that's how we roll. We're California.

Speaker 2:

And so a new bill was introduced SB 1047. That's, that's a SB 1047. And it is. It is the bill is to regulate AI.

Speaker 1:

Um, now, sorry to cut you off when. Yeah, just for listeners, if and I'm I'm a little curious too, but once, when, a when someone introduces a new regulation, does that mean it has to go up for vote and it's still not an actual? It's not law? It's not law yet.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah yeah, it is. It has just been proposed. It's been proposed, it's just a bill. It is just a bill on Capitol Hill and it is making its way up to Congress, for Well, in this case, it's making its way up through California's governing process.

Speaker 1:

Which is good to see, because AI is rapidly growing and a lot of companies are trying to use it, and everyone's worried about the abuses of it and all those other things. Yeah, everyone's worried about those things.

Speaker 2:

In particular. One of the things that a lot of people worry about with regulation in general, especially as it pertains to technology, is regulations constraints on innovation. You over-regulate things and then you make it hard for folks to innovate in that area. Yeah, what this bill is purporting to do is to balance safety with innovation, and the gentleman who's introduced the bill, wiener. He makes a very bold statement here and I'll just repeat it verbatim so I don't mess it up. He says if Congress at some point is able to pass a strong pro-innovation, pro-safety AI law, I'll be the first to chair that. But I'm not holding my breath.

Speaker 1:

What do you think about that quote?

Speaker 2:

I mean client do agree with them, but just generally speaking, I happen to believe that Congress is dysfunctional. I don't think that's even a controversial statement. Again, this is the point in show where I tell our listeners don't bother adding me, because it's just not going to be honest with you at your local congressman if you got a problem.

Speaker 1:

I think if you're smart nowadays, you want to be right in the middle, because both sides are crazy, both sides have their crazies, both sides are crazy.

Speaker 2:

It's all those sides crazy, but collectively, which is what we're talking about Congress, which is a collection of all those sides, I wouldn't hold my breath either for them to pass a strong pro-innovation, pro-safety. I could see them passing things that were not super useful to us as consumers as it exists. Not passing anything at all, it's already dangerous. It's already dangerous. It's almost as though there are cars on the road and there are no rules. Everyone's just kind of trying.

Speaker 1:

Isn't that kind of how it is in India?

Speaker 2:

It's literally how it is in India. I mean, I've seen videos.

Speaker 1:

That's all I know.

Speaker 2:

I've been.

Speaker 1:

There might be rules.

Speaker 2:

I don't think there are rules. They're just not the rules you expect. In fact, I would say they are 100% rules. They're just not what you expect them to be. I say that only because things do flow, that's true, it's just really fast. It's chaotic and chaotic and it's loud.

Speaker 1:

It's fascinating to watch.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But even the unseen rules of society exist, right, right. So this bill, what else does it do? It does a couple of other things.

Speaker 1:

Let's see.

Speaker 2:

It establishes something known as CalCompute, a public AI compute cluster that will be a resource available for researchers, startups and community groups to fuel innovation.

Speaker 2:

So, this is an interesting part of the regulation it is not just designed to regulate, but it is designed to establish a resource for others to be able to use. You could argue this is attempting to democratize AI, so that innovation isn't just stifled, but it isn't just the domain of those with lots of money, which would be very useful, very useful. So a government funded, in this case, resource for research and startups and community groups to fuel their innovation, I think that's a hell of a great idea. Yeah, that's the kind of thing that should happen both at the state level I'm sorry, at the federal level and at every single state level. That's the kind of thing where, if the federal government partnered with state governments and we all had these accessible to us as states and counties to fill those needs.

Speaker 2:

that'd be incredible yeah.

Speaker 1:

That'd be incredible. Looks like it helps prevent price discrimination.

Speaker 2:

Yeah what does that mean?

Speaker 1:

I mean that's like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah.

Speaker 2:

I assume that's related to the establishment of Cal compute right, like it would be difficult to. For example, a group of researchers shopping in the open marketplace is going to be beholden to you know whoever the private companies are that sell that resource right, and if they all decide that this thing is worth you know $1,000 an hour, then that's the price. That's the price. It's neither hand or there. But this appears to be to want to put some measures in place to not discriminate against any specific group of people and deal with both anti-competitive behavior, like I just described, as well as normalizing and or democratizing the price of AI resources. It's a bold piece of legislation. Yeah, putting this, putting this into practice, is going to be interesting, but it is. It does appear very sensible.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I personally have no strong criticisms of it.

Speaker 1:

Well, like you said, it's better than doing nothing, though I think it is better they're trying.

Speaker 2:

And some regulation is not always better than no regulation, to be clear. But I think this is one of those areas where, like, you got to start somewhere, like you yeah, we have to start somewhere. You just start small and then you build from there, but we got to start somewhere.

Speaker 1:

Protect whistleblowers, large AI companies, yeah, Okay, and then so obviously there's that. But what about the critics arguing about the bill's impact and like let's talk about the innovation part of it. It doesn't seem like it's going to affect that part of it. Now it sounds like the biggest criticism.

Speaker 2:

It sounds like the biggest criticism is folks are worried about regulatory overreach. You know the bill's definition of covered models is scrutinized with an emphasis on distinguishing between state of the art models and derivative models. So what they mean by that is. I think what they mean by that is how do you tell the difference between, say, an AI model that you created right Like it's just something you created, it was purely innovative, no one else had and some derivative of that? How do you cover these regulatory points with derivative works, et cetera? I don't have an answer to that. I don't see the general concern of potential regulatory overreach. I think you could say that about most regulations that they all have. By definition, they all have the ability to overreach, but I think underreach is equally a problem. In this case in particular, I think the risk of overreach just isn't as real for me, based on what I've read through so far here and what I can't read through, which is any federal guidelines at all on the topic.

Speaker 1:

Something in this article gave that you noticed wasn't mentioned, that you thought of about this entire bill. It could be a potential negative or positive impact.

Speaker 2:

I think I don't see where it attempted to intersect with consumer privacy. Maybe it'll come out in other revisions, but California's already led the way on digital privacy with CCPA and it would only make sense that any regulating of AI would have some effect on that. But maybe the real answer here is and I am not a lawyer, so I'm probably interpreting this through my layman's, security dude's eyes and privacy expert eyes, versus a lawyer's eyes but maybe CCPA already has enough coverage such that this does not require it. Right, you don't really want laws overlapping. They should be distinct and unique and they should be governing of specific things and not a bunch of overlapping things. I would have expected something here that spoke a bit more to that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah that's fair, but again, maybe the real examination here should be not just what the impact of this law in a vacuum, but what is the impact of this law when held alongside CCPA. When held alongside CCPA, how does this attempt at regulating AI also play in with, for example? Because here's the thing about AI it needs data. It needs data.

Speaker 2:

It must be trained on data. Ccpa is all about protecting data. It's all about protecting data, personal data. Where does the rubber meet the road on these two? We should kick that question out there to the community. Where do they see the real world intersection of this bill and CCPA?

Speaker 1:

We should bring it up on tomorrow's conversation. That's what I was just about to say. I was thinking that too. There it is. I want to bring that up, and I also want to bring up.

Speaker 2:

You're trying travelers out there.

Speaker 1:

I also want to ask her about her thoughts on the new CCPA that put into effect of the CPRA that is now immediately, I think, active. What no effect. That's going to be a big deal, especially for, obviously, California. Would you say this conclusion about this new SB 1047 and how it represents a step forward in regulating AI? Concerns about its efficacy and potential loopholes and impact on innovation persist among both supporters and critics.

Speaker 2:

I think that's a true state. I think that's a true state. I think critics like the ones I referenced that see some potential for overreach, and myself as a supporter. I think we both see it as a positive step forward regardless.

Speaker 1:

Who would be the representative of a supporter and who would be a critic of this?

Speaker 2:

Well, Go ahead. I say the obvious supporter is the is the guy who brought the bill forward, but who might be some critics. I Don't want to call anyone up by name, but there's some folks online that that have that have, that are criticizing about it and I don't want to not call that we just go allegedly, allegedly yeah. Well, I mean for no reason, and it's their valid opinion. They are valid opinions.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and I and I don't mean to discount them at all, in fact I I count them, I count them quite heavily I don't think that they represent any specific, unique group of people, any homogenous group of people. But you know, some folks are just always naturally hesitant of more regulation, and I would agree with them generally speaking. I would generally agree with them.

Speaker 1:

Okay, are we talking about like old whites?

Speaker 2:

Are we, are we? Are they generally worrying about more regulation? I don't think they are actually. Maybe they are.

Speaker 1:

I Don't know, just thinking about people that don't want to change, or make a change.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's fair, I mean I might be going into a whole.

Speaker 1:

I'm gonna open it up a whole chest.

Speaker 2:

I'm getting to that point in my life where, like I don't, I'm not really in the whole lot of change. You know, I think you may just be sure of old. Get off my yard, yet stay off my digital grass, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Seriously, okay, well, this is interesting. I love this, though. I love the fact that you know, sometimes this stuff can take a long time, but it's nice to see that Things are trying to move forward.

Speaker 2:

Sure, even thousand miles. It begins with one step.

Speaker 1:

Yeah it's fascinating and it's there's no, there's no end to change in surprise when it comes to this, this realm, which is awesome for us. Yeah, for sure, for sure. But yeah, that's it for this week, anything else that'll do.

Speaker 2:

That is a bit, always a pleasure. Thanks for joining us again, folks. We'll catch you next time. Catch on the live episodes.

Speaker 1:

Catch you on the flippy flap.

California's New Legislation on AI Regulation
SB 1047's Impact on AI Regulation