Texas House Committee Investigates AI & Its Impact 

On Monday, the newly formed State House Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Emerging Technologies held its first meeting. The committee, which was formed to determine “the ways AI is integrated into our everyday lives and the potential security risks that come along with the emerging technology,” met to discuss its goals for an upcoming report on the issue as part of the interim period between legislative sessions. 

One of the major reasons for the committee’s investigation is to determine the potential criminalization and punishment for using AI with malicious intent.  

“Anytime there’s a major technological advance there’s a risk that comes with it,” said committee Chair Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) “Obviously, with elections and other things we’re worried about, deep fakes, changing people’s audios, and simply creating new tweets and such. It’s a potential risk not just to the candidate but also to the voters themselves.” 

The issue is of particular resonance for the Texas Legislature since a deepfake was used in an ad targeting state House Speaker Dade Phelan in his primary campaign. Legislators are hoping to update Senate Bill 751 to increase the punishment for creating and publishing deep fakes from a Class A misdemeanor to a higher charge. 

As AI becomes more common in everyday life, limiting its harm has been on the forefront of the agenda for many, especially in the world of education. In December 2023, the AFL-CIO and Microsoft announced a new partnership with the expressed purpose of making sure the needs of workers are addressed in AI development and implementation in the workforce.