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a photo of a person getting an MRI scan

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Artificial intelligence isn’t just a niche tool for cheating on homework or generating bizarre and deceptive images. It’s already humming along in unseen and unregulated ways that are touching millions of Americans who may never have heard of ChatGPT, Bard or other buzzwords.

A growing share of businesses, schools, and medical professionals have quietly embraced generative AI, and there’s really no going back. It is being used to screen job candidates, tutor kids, buy a home and dole out medical advice.

The Biden administration is trying to marshal federal agencies to assess what kind of rules make sense for the technology. But lawmakers in Washington, state capitals and city halls have been slow to figure out how to protect people’s privacy and guard against echoing the human biases baked into much of the data AIs are trained on.

“There are things that we can use AI for that will really benefit people, but there are lots of ways that AI can harm people and perpetuate inequalities and discrimination that we’ve seen for our...