The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Congressman Kean introduces AI legislation in response to WHS incident

The issue with AI at WHS in October has reached national newspapers, cable news and now the halls of Congress as Westfield’s Congressional Representative Tom Kean Jr. introduced the AI Labeling Act of 2023 in response to the WHS incident in the House of Representatives this past week.

According to Congressman Kean’s website, the law would “require that developers of generative AI systems incorporate a prominently displayed disclosure to clearly identify content generated by AI.”

This measure aims to defend against deep fakes, fake AI images which are perceived to be real. Deep fakes became a problem at WHS when a student used AI to make fake pornographic material of female students, prompting police involvement and national headlines.

Kean’s site goes on to say that the law would “ensure [that] developers and third-party licensees take responsible steps to prevent systematic publication of content without disclosures.”

Even before an AI-related scandal plagued WHS, the subject of regulating technology was debated on a national level. In 2020, then Democratic nominee for president, Andrew Yang, made technological regulation a key part of his platform. His campaign website said, “[We need] cooperation between the government and private industry to ensure that developing technologies can continue to improve our lives without destroying them.”

Concerns regarding technology’s impact on society have intensified since the creation of AI. Thus, when AI was used at WHS to make fake  pornographic material of students in October, threatening the privacy of students, the national media pointed it out as an example of how AI can be harmful.

Kean, a Westfield resident, cited the WHS incident when he announced his proposed legislation. Speaking to Hi’s Eye, Kean said, “As a father, the AI incident at Westfield High School is deeply disturbing. This specific incident illustrates how easily AI can be weaponized against an individual without their knowledge. An incident such as the one at Westfield High School must never be allowed to happen again.”

Kean seems optimistic that the bill can garner bipartisan support. “Addressing AI is a bipartisan issue and advocating for regulation is grounded in the shared ideology that responsible AI governance is essential to safeguard and limit the potential risks associated with this technology,” he noted. “AI transparency is crucial for fostering public trust.”

While local issues may have prompted Kean to propose this bill, politicians across the globe share in Kean’s concern about AI’s potential danger. Last week, the European Union agreed on the AI Act to increase technological regulations.

While the fate of this bill in Congress has yet to be determined, members of the WHS community view it as a step in the right direction. Senior Kaitlynn Czarnecki said, “It’s a good idea because after the incident in October, there needs to be new legislation created.”

View Comments (1)

Comments (1)

All Hi's Eye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • F

    frank wancaJan 9, 2024 at 10:56 am

    Yes strict National standards are in order !