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AI on parade at annual Consumer Electronics Showcase

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, leading companies showcased the emerging technologies expected to transform consumer experiences. Artificial intelligence (AI) was unquestionably the star of the show.

AI is the technology that enables machines to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. It can be used to understand speech, recognize images and generate content. Although AI has been around for decades, it has gained momentum in recent years as generative AI becomes more widely available.

“For centuries, Americans have turned to technological advancement to solve some of the most significant challenges we face,” said Krista Chavez, Senior Communications Manager at NetChoice, a national trade association that promotes free enterprise and free expression. “At CES, we saw applications of AI to collect data, identify trends and produce innovative solutions to various challenges. AI is poised to have a meaningful impact on both micro and macro levels.”

Some examples of AI integration seen at CES last week were a mattress that prevents snoring, a grill that cooks the perfect steak and a toothbrush that improves oral health. The CES 2024 Innovation Award went to an AI smart belt that empowers the visually impaired. The device can give freedom to those who previously struggled to navigate independently.

As the largest independent tech event in the world, CES is a ‘come one, come all’ for the latest and greatest in technology. Hosted by the Consumer Technology Association from Jan. 9 through 12, the showcase was more than a gathering of big technology companies. The agenda touted keynote speakers like the CEOs of Walmart, BestBuy and L’Oreal.

Back home in the Sunshine State, the Florida Legislature is considering several proposals to regulate AI. SB 850 by Sen. Nick DiCeglie, which requires political advertisements that use AI to include a disclaimer, is moving through the committee hearings with a favorable vote on Tuesday in the Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections. Its House companion, HB 919, is on Thursday’s House Committee on Ethics, Elections & Open Government agenda.

A pair of bills, SB 1680 by Sen. Jennifer Bradley and HB 1459 by Rep. Fiona McFarland, would create safety and transparency standards for content generated by AI.

SB 972 by Sen. Joe Gruters establishes the Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council.

There is consensus among many, including lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and stakeholders in the industry that some regulatory framework would be valuable to the fast-growing sector. However, advocates for technology warn that overreaching regulation could harm American innovation. A patchwork of regulations across state lines could make it difficult for companies to navigate or worse, deter growth and investment of this critical technology.

“Generative AI is an innovation that was born right here in America, where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. We are in a race against China and other regimes, and we need American leadership to foster American innovations like AI, not hinder them,” urged Chavez. “Given the potential of AI to power the economy, solve major challenges and strengthen our military defense, there is a lot at stake.”

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