Washington State Unveils Bipartisan AI Task Force Legislation

The proposed task force would be tasked with delivering a preliminary report by Dec. 1, 2025, followed by a final set of findings and recommendations by June 1, 2027.

Washington may establish a task force to deliver a set of findings and recommendations by June 1, 2027.

Washington is setting a precedent in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) regulation with the introduction of bipartisan legislation aiming to establish an Artificial Intelligence Task Force. This initiative, announced by Attorney General Bob Ferguson in collaboration with Sen. Joe Nguyen, D-White Center, and Rep. Travis Couture, R-Allyn, seeks to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to navigate the complexities and potentials of AI technologies.

The proposed task force is a response to the rapid development and increasing popularity of generative AI, exemplified by tools like ChatGPT. These technologies have shown exponential growth, becoming some of the fastest-growing consumer internet applications ever. A recent survey revealed 79% of North American respondents have encountered generative AI, with 41% using it regularly and 22% employing it in their workplaces.

The proposed Senate Bill 5838 and House Bill 1934 envision a 42-member, bipartisan task force comprising legislators, state agency representatives, tribal members, technology experts, civil liberty advocates, consumer advocates, businesses and other relevant parties. This group will meet at least biannually and is tasked with delivering a preliminary report by Dec. 1, 2025, followed by a final set of findings and recommendations by June 1, 2027.

Key areas of focus for the task force will include establishing guiding principles for the use of generative AI, identifying high-risk AI applications, supporting and protecting AI innovation, educating the public about AI development and use, and reviewing a range of public policy issues. These issues span the benefits and risks of AI, its impact on historically excluded communities, racial equity considerations, workforce implications and ethical concerns.

This legislative move places Washington among the forefront of states actively addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by AI. Already, at least 25 states have introduced AI-related legislation, with Colorado, Illinois, Vermont and Virginia establishing similar task forces or commissions.

Ferguson introduces a series of Attorney General Request bills each legislative session, often getting bipartisan support.

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