AB 1836 – Increases Regulation on AI, creating liability for legitimate, First Amendment-protected uses

Introduced on Jan 16, 2024
Status: Assigned To Senate Committee






California is a cradle of innovation and home to an American technology sector that is the envy of the world. This is no accident. The engineers and programmers who built this ecosystem were able to thrive because of a light-touch regulatory approach that focused on targeting true harms without stifling innovation.

In recent years, however, California has trended toward reactive, prescriptive, and precautionary regulation that seeks to eliminate every hypothetical harm that could arise from a new technology. Gone, it appears, is the California that fostered continued innovation to the benefit of the state and its residents. A recent example of this mindset is AB 1836, which seeks to regulate so-called “digital replicas.”

To be clear, the bill addresses legitimate concerns. As with any technology, Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used for good or ill. While AI has the potential to increase productivity and improve so many aspects of life, bad actors can use generative AI tools to create real harm. Policymakers have rightfully noted the problem of AI being used to create deep fake porn. Many in the creative community worry that digital replicas will be used to replace artists entirely.

These concerns aren’t meritless; targeted legislation could address these harms. But as drafted, AB 1836 will stifle expression and innovation by creating liability for legitimate, First Amendment-protected uses.

Read CPC’s Letter of Opposition

Last Action

Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee