Foundation Model Transparency Act

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The AI Foundation Model Transparency Act is a proposed piece of legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Don Beyer (D-VA) that aims to regulate the transparency of foundation models in artificial intelligence. The bill would require companies that develop these models to disclose sources of training data, describe the limitations or risks of the model, explain how the model aligns with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) planned AI Risk Management Framework, and report any efforts to "red team" the model, which involves testing the model's security and robustness. The bill is designed to complement the Biden administration’s AI executive order, which establishes reporting standards for AI models but is not a law. If passed, the AI Foundation Model Transparency Act would make these transparency requirements for training data a federal rule. The bill also addresses concerns about copyright infringement, as public use of foundation models has led to numerous lawsuits and public concerns. The proposed legislation would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in consultation with NIST, the Copyright Office, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), to set transparency standards for foundation model deployers. This includes disclosing training data used, how the model is trained, and whether user data is collected during inference. The bill is seen as critical for empowering consumers to make informed decisions when interacting with AI and for helping users determine if they should trust the model they are using. It is particularly significant when a model’s bias could lead to harmful results, such as rejections for housing or loan applications, or faulty medical decisions. The AI Foundation Model Transparency Act would also require reporting on the computational power used to train and run the model and would ask AI developers to make certain information publicly available to consumers. As of the information available, the bill still needs to be assigned to a committee and discussed, and it is unclear if that will happen before the busy election campaign season starts.
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