AI Lobbying Surges 185% in 2023 Amid Rising Calls for Regulation

Over 450 Organizations Engage in Record AI Lobbying, Reflecting Industry’s Concerns and Biden Administration’s Regulatory Momentum

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In a landmark development, lobbying activities related to artificial intelligence (AI) witnessed an unprecedented surge in 2023, involving more than 450 organizations, marking a staggering 185% increase from the previous year. This surge in AI lobbying aligns with the growing clamor for robust AI regulations and the Biden administration’s proactive stance in initiating rule codification.

Key Insights:

  1. Record-Breaking Participation: The number of organizations engaged in AI lobbying skyrocketed to 450 in 2023, a stark contrast from the 158 organizations involved in 2022, showcasing a remarkable 185% surge.
  2. Diverse Industry Representation: The organizations lobbying on AI in 2023 represented a diverse array of industries, including Big Tech, AI startups, pharmaceuticals, insurance, finance, academia, telecommunications, and more. The unprecedented participation indicates the widespread impact and relevance of AI across sectors.
  3. New Entrants and Industries: A noteworthy trend was the entry of more than 330 organizations into AI lobbying in 2023 that had not participated in 2022. Industries such as chip manufacturing (AMD, TSMC), venture firms (Andreessen Horowitz), biopharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca), entertainment (Disney), and AI training data (Appen) joined the lobbying efforts, highlighting the broad spectrum of interests in shaping AI regulations.
  4. Financial Impact: The organizations collectively spent over $957 million lobbying the federal government in 2023, covering various issues, with AI regulations at the forefront. This financial commitment underscores the significance attributed to shaping the evolving AI regulatory landscape.
  5. Biden Administration’s AI Executive Order: The surge in AI lobbying follows President Joe Biden’s issuance of an executive order on AI in October. The order focused on safety assessments, equity, civil rights guidance, and labor market impact. Notable entities, including ByteDance (TikTok owner), Tesla, Spotify, Palantir, and OpenAI, engaged in lobbying activities to influence regulations that could impact their respective businesses.
  6. Core Debates and Public Input: President Biden’s executive order initiated debates, particularly around AI fairness. Civil society leaders expressed concerns about the order falling short in addressing real-world harms from AI models, especially those affecting marginalized communities. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been collecting public comments to shape AI rules, with a focus on responsible AI standards, vulnerability testing, and managing risks associated with generative AI.

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The surge in AI lobbying signals a pivotal moment in the industry’s advocacy for regulations, with diverse stakeholders actively participating to shape the future governance of artificial intelligence. As public input and debates continue, the outcomes are expected to influence the trajectory of AI regulations and their broader societal impact.