Colorado Gov. Polis signs AI bill, several others into law

Colorado became among the first states to regulate the rapidly growing AI industry after Gov. Polis signed into law Senate Bill 24-205.
Open AI ChatGPT Update
Posted at 2:28 PM, May 18, 2024

DENVER — It’s become a buzzword tech companies are using to attract new users, but the use of artificial intelligence is rapidly expanding and may have far-reaching impacts on the industry and society that we may not fully understand.

That is why, Gov. Polis said, Colorado became among the first states to regulate the burgeoning AI industry after he signed into law on Friday Senate Bill 24-205, which goes into effect in 2026.

The bill imposes new regulations on the industry, specifically targeting “high-risk” AI systems, according to a letter to the Colorado General Assembly from the governor.

SB 24-205 requires AI developers to publicly disclose the types of high-risk AI systems being used in Colorado and how the technology figures into a decision.

High-risk AI systems are typically used to manage digital infrastructure such as traffic systems and utilities.

It also requires developers to disclose any “foreseeable risks of algorithmic discrimination” that may arise and submit a report to the attorney general.

It's unclear how the new law will impact a new AI program Denver7 reported about on Friday that the Fort Collins Police Department is testing out to speed up report writing time.

Companies worry regulation raises the risk of lawsuits and the revelation of trade secrets. In Polis’ letter, the governor echoed those concerns but said consumer protection supersedes all other concerns.

“I am concerned about the impact this law may have on an industry that is fueling critical technological advancements across our state for consumers and enterprises alike. Government regulation that is applied at the state level in a patchwork across the country can have the effect to tamper innovation and deter competition in an open market. To that end, the important work of protecting consumers from discrimination and other unintended consequences of nascent AI technologies is better considered and applied by the federal government to limit and preempt varied compliance burdens on innovators and ensure a level playing field across states along with ensuring access to life-saving and money-saving AI technologies for consumers,” the letter said.

On the national level, the Biden administration has sought to shape AI regulation through executive action, but Democrats overwhelmingly agree Congress needs to pass legislation to install safeguards around the technology.

On Saturday, Polis was in Colorado Springs where he signed into law the following legislation to support Colorado students:

  • HB24-1282 - Ninth-Grade Success Grant & Performance Reporting.
  • SB24-164 - Cost transparency regarding a postsecondary education program.
  • HB24-1076 - Purple Star School Program.

The governor will sign SB24-231, the Alcohol Beverage Liquor Advisory Group Recommendations, and HB24-1154, Institute Charter Schools & Bond Indebtedness, into law later in the day.

Polis signed into law the following bills during a ceremony on Friday:

  • HB24-117- Invertebrates & Rare Plants Parks & Wildlife Commission.
  • SB24-199 - Annual Species Conservation Trust Fund Projects.
  • HB24-1235 - Reduce Aviation Impacts on Communities.
  • HB24-1011 - Mortgage Servicers Disburse Insurance Proceeds.
  • HB24-1449 - Environmental Sustainability Circular Economy.
  • SB24-214 - Implement State Climate Goals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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