In 2023, companies lobbying for limited artificial intelligence (AI) laws experienced a significant surge, with over 450 organizations engaging in advocacy efforts, marking a substantial 185% increase from the previous year’s involvement, as revealed by federal lobbying disclosures analyzed by OpenSecrets for CNBC.
This spike in AI lobbying activity coincides with heightened calls for AI regulation and the Biden administration’s initiative to commence the codification of these rules.
Noteworthy entities that entered the lobbying arena in 2023 include prominent names like ByteDance, Tesla, Spotify, and Nvidia, among others, aiming to influence regulatory frameworks affecting their operations.
The spectrum of organizations lobbying on AI matters in 2023 spanned various sectors, ranging from Big Tech and AI startups to pharmaceuticals, finance, and academia.
This surge reflects a growing trend, with the number of organizations engaged in AI lobbying steadily increasing since 2017 but experiencing an exponential rise in 2023.
Much of the spending is led by the Big Tech firms who have invested billions on AI and are using their clout to push for limited oversight.
These organizations, which collectively spent over $957 million lobbying the federal government in 2023, not only focused on AI issues but also addressed a myriad of other policy matters.
President Biden’s executive order on AI in October 2023 set a pivotal precedent, mandating safety assessments, equity guidelines, and research on AI’s labor market impact.
Subsequently, stakeholders intensively scrutinized the order, particularly its implications for AI fairness and societal impact.
As the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) solicits public feedback on shaping AI regulations, key discussions revolve around developing responsible AI standards, testing for vulnerabilities, and mitigating risks associated with generative AI and synthetic content, highlighting the evolving discourse on AI governance and ethics.