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Sen. Warner leads introduction of legislation to require financial regulators to address AI

Rebecca Barnabi
Artificial intelligence
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The Financial Artificial Intelligence Risk Reduction Act would require financial regulators to address uses of artificial intelligence-generated content that could disrupt financial markets.

The legislation requires the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to coordinate financial regulators’ response to threats to the stability of the markets posed by AI, including the use of “deepfakes” by malign actors and other practices associated with the use of AI tools that could undermine the financial system, such as trading algorithms.

The FSOC would also be required to identify gaps in existing regulations, guidance and exam standards that could hinder effective responses to AI threats, and implement specific recommendations to address those gaps.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner of Virginia and John Kennedy of Louisiana, members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, introduced the legislation on Tuesday.

“AI has tremendous potential but also enormous disruptive power across a variety of fields and industries — perhaps none more so than our financial markets,” Warner, a former business executive and venture capitalist, said. “The time to address those vulnerabilities is now.”

In response to the potential magnitude of the threat, the bill would also provide for treble penalties when AI is used in violations of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules, including acts of market manipulation and fraud. The legislation makes clear that anyone who uses an AI model is responsible for making sure that everything that model does complies with all securities laws.

“AI is moving quickly, and our laws should do the same to prevent AI manipulation from rattling our financial markets. Our bill would help ensure that AI threats do not put Americans’ investments and retirement dreams at risk,” Kennedy said.  

The legislation also provides the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) with the authority necessary to oversee AI service providers, similar to the authority the other financial regulators have had for decades.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.