How can AI write our laws?
Second, we need to strengthen disclosure requirements for lobbyists, whether fully human or AI-powered. State laws regarding lobbying disclosures are proprietary. For example, North Dakota only requires lobbying reports to be filed annually, so the policy may have been decided by the time the information was released. The lobbying disclosure dashboard, created by Open Secrets, a group that studies the influence of money in American politics, tracks nine states that don’t even require lobbyists to report their compensation.
Ideally, the public should see all communications between lobbyists and legislators, whether they are in the form of a proposed amendment or not. If it doesn’t, let’s give the public the benefit of revisiting it lobbyists lobby – and why. Lobbying is an activity traditionally carried out behind closed doors. Right now, many states are strengthening this: they effectively exempt testimony given publicly to the legislature from being labeled as lobbying.
In these jurisdictions, if you disclose your position to the public, you are no longer lobbying. Let’s do the opposite: force lobbyists to reveal their positions on issues. Some jurisdictions already require a position statement (“yes” or “no”) from registered lobbyists. In most (but not all) states, you can request public records of meetings held with your state legislature and expect to get something substantial in return. But more can be expected – lobbyists may be required to proactively publish within days a summary of what they have demanded from politicians at meetings and why they think so. “general interest.
We cannot count on companies to be open and completely honest about the reasons for their lobbying positions. But accounting for their intentions at least provides a basis for accountability.
Finally, consider the role that AI assistive technologies will play in corporate lobbying and the labor market for lobbyists. Many observers worry about the potential for AI to replace or devalue human labor. If AI’s potential for automation makes policymaking and messaging easier, it could indeed put K Street professionals out of a job.
But don’t expect it to derail the careers of the astronomically highest-paid lobbyists: former congressmen and other revolving-door insiders. There is no shortage of reform ideas to limit the ability of public officials to sell access to their lobbyist-turned-government colleagues, and they must be adopted and, most importantly, supported and implemented by Congress and administrations. consistent.
None of these solutions are truly original, specific to the threats posed by AI, or even primarily targeted at micro-legacy—and that’s the problem. Effective governance must and can be resilient to threats from a variety of methods and actors.
But what makes the threats posed by AI particularly pressing now is the speed at which the field is evolving. We expect the scope, strategies, and effectiveness of lobbyists to evolve over years and decades. And advances in AI seem to be making impressive strides at a much faster pace, and it’s still accelerating.
The legislative process is a constant battle between parties trying to control the rules of our society that are updated, rewritten, and expanded at the federal, state, and local levels. Lobbying is an important tool for balancing the various interests in our system. If properly regulated, lobbying can help politicians make fair decisions on behalf of us all.
Nathan E. Sanders he is an affiliate and data scientist at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. Bruce Schneier Security Technologist and Fellow and Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School.
All news on the site does not represent the views of the site, but we automatically submit this news and translate it using software technology on the site, rather than a human editor.