The utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) has expanded to various domains, including lawmaking, according to The New York Times. Recently, an Assemblyman in New York, Clyde Vanel, sought the assistance of an AI to propose new legislation for the state. The resulting bill aimed to amend the housing code by requiring landlords to provide tenants with a copy of their lease upon request, fostering transparency and empowering tenants. However, this AI-generated bill has sparked a debate about the role of AI in legislative processes. Critics argue that the bill lacks practical impact, fails to address the pressing housing crisis, and questions the true intelligence of AI in certain areas.
One of the primary concerns raised by critics is the bill's limited practicality. Tenants typically receive a copy of their lease when they sign it, making the proposed requirement redundant in most cases. However, there may be instances where tenants require a replacement copy for legal purposes or benefit applications. Critics argue that the bill only serves a limited audience, specifically those with landlords willing to comply voluntarily. Furthermore, the absence of provisions for enforcement undermines the bill's effectiveness.
The bill's practical limitations highlight a deeper issue, the failure to address the pressing housing crisis; New York is experiencing a shortage of affordable housing, leading many residents to leave the state. While the bill may seem inconsequential in the face of this crisis, it is essential to recognize that addressing such a multifaceted problem requires comprehensive and well-thought-out legislation. Critics argue that the AI's contribution failed to grasp the complexity and urgency of the issue.
Critics further question the intelligence of AI in specific domains. James Fishman, an experienced lawyer in landlord-tenant matters, emphasizes that the proposed measure would be helpful only in specific circumstances where both the document and the landlord's compliance exist. Additionally, concerns about the AI's inability to identify and reflect the housing crisis's true nature have been raised. Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat who chairs the Assembly Housing Committee, expresses disappointment in the AI's contribution, stating that sending tenants a copy of their lease does not capture the essence of the housing crisis.
Assemblyman Clyde Vanel defends the utilization of AI in the legislative process, stating that seeking ideas from AI is comparable to considering input from constituents or advocacy groups. He views the AI generated bill as a preliminary step in a long and inherently human legislative process. Vanel emphasizes that the bill was not intended to be groundbreaking but rather a starting point for discussion and refinement.
The integration of AI into the legislative process raises important questions about the extent of its intelligence and its ability to effectively address complex societal issues. While the AI-generated housing bill may have limitations and fail to meet the expectations of critics, it also highlights the need for a more comprehensive approach to tackle the housing crisis.
AI can serve as a valuable tool in the legislative process, but its limitations must be acknowledged, and human involvement remains crucial in creating meaningful and effective laws.
Ashford, G (2023) A.I. Wrote a Housing Bill. Critics Say It's Not Intelligent. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/14/nyregion/ai-ny-housing-bill.html