Articles Posted in Commentary and Opinion

“Google launched its most ambitious AI model called Gemini on Wednesday [December 6, 2023], which is described as Google’s “largest and most capable AI model.” The company announced a “Gemini era” where the model will be used widely in companies and consumer devices like Google Pixel phones. Unlike existing AI models that focus on one type of input like text or images, Gemini is “multimodal” and can accept different types of media like text, images, audio and video as inputs. Google’s AI chatbot Bard has been upgraded with Gemini, and Google plans to add Gemini to widely used products like Search, Chrome and its cloud services”

Benzinga News, December 7,

INTRODUCTION

Introduction.

This posting provides information to help explore the key arguments surrounding this question from both positive and negative perspectives and to provide a useful framework to inform the debate.  Commentary is organized into the following categories: Survey Information, Historical Context, Current Challenges, Arguments for a New Constitutional Convention, Arguments Against Convening a New Constitutional Convention, Alternative Considerations, Some Thoughts About the Future, and a concluding statement.

The United States Constitution, adopted in 1787, has endured for over two centuries as the foundational document governing the nation. However, in recent years there has been growing debate over whether it is time to convene a new Constitutional Convention to address contemporary challenges and issues.

In a previous posting on this blog, Reflections of a Retired Law Librarian: From Mimeograph to Generative AI, I urged professional organizations, including the American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), to appoint committees or commissions at the highest level to  facilitate the development and implementation of standards sufficient to address the real ethical and safety concerns related  to the increasingly rapid adaption of AI, including  Generative AI, as a technology of choice in the workplace.

It is gratifying to learn from recent announcements from the American Bar Association that it has already been taking steps to address the legal challenges of Ai faced by the legal community. As Mary L. Smith, President of the American Bar Association, has said: “As a national voice for the legal profession, the ABA must play a  leadership role in helping to identify for the legal community the benefits and risks of continually changing AI and machine learning systems and capabilities.”

Measures already taken by ABA include Resolution 112 adopted in August, 2019, Resolution 604 adopted in February, 2023, various articles and podcasts published by its various Sections, including the ABA Business Law Section and the Sci Tech Lawyer published by the ABA Science and Technology Section.

CBO responds to Senator Rand Paul’s request for information about CBO’s operations had there been a shutdown on October 1.

CBO Letter responding to Senator Rand Paul’s request

Summary;

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio and information that is artificially manufactured. The recent interest in generative AI has been driven by the simplicity of new user interfaces for creating high-quality content, including text, graphics and videos in a matter of seconds.                        

Generative AI has the potential to be used in various ways to help regulate criminal behavior, although it’s important to note that these applications can be controversial and raise ethical concerns. Here are some ways in which generative AI could potentially contribute to regulating criminal behavior:

  1. Predictive Policing: Generative AI algorithms could analyze large sets of historical crime data to identify patterns and predict potential criminal hotspots. This could help law enforcement agencies allocate resources more effectively and proactively deter criminal behavior.

Introduction: The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is the practice of executing individuals who have been convicted of certain serious crimes, typically murder. The United States has a complex and controversial history with the death penalty, involving legal, ethical, and societal considerations. This posting provides an overview of the death penalty in the United States, including its history, current status, arguments for and against its use,  recent trends. and a selection of death penalty, criminal sentencing  Supreme Court cases compiled by Justia, and a list of references for the benefit of those who would like to pursue this subject in greater depth and detail.

Historical Context: The death penalty has been a part of the U.S. legal system since colonial times.  The first recorded execution in the new colonies was believed to be that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608. Over the years, the application of the death penalty has evolved  with changes in methods of execution and legal standards. Use of the death penalty in the United States rose gradually during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth  centuries with a sharp rise in the twentieth century until 1972 when a moratorium was established by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Furman v. Georgia.

Modern Era and Legal Framework: In 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty, as it was being applied at the time, was unconstitutional due to its arbitrary nature. Subsequently, many states revised their laws to address concerns of arbitrariness and excessive severity. In 1976 the Court reinstated the death penalty with the Gregg v. Georgia decision, in which it as held that death penalty for murder was not, in and of itself, a cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The federal budget deficit was $1.6 trillion in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2023, the Congressional Budget Office estimates—more than twice the shortfall recorded during the same period last year. Revenues were 10 percent lower and outlays were 10 percent higher from October through July than they were during the same period in fiscal year 2022.

Summary:

The federal budget deficit was $1.6 trillion in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2023, the Congressional Budget Office estimates—more than twice the shortfall recorded during the same period last year. Revenues were 10 percent lower and outlays were 10 percent higher from October through July than they were during the same period in fiscal year 2022.

Report: August 4, 2023.

On July 12, 2023, the Senate Committee on the Budget convened a hearing at which Phillip L. Swagel, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, testified about Social Security’s finances. After the hearing, Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse, Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, and Senator Ron Wyden submitted questions for the record. This document provides CBO’s answers.

Full Text of Document Providing CBO’s Answers to questions submitted.

August 4, 2023.

As ordered Reported  by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability on July 12, 2023.

Summary:

Originally posted by John McClellan et. al. on July 25, 2023.

As part of the legislative process, the Congressional Budget Office* supplies the Congress with cost estimates for legislation, economic and budget projections, and other economic assessments. Information from the research community is an important element of CBO’s analyses. This is the seventh in a series of blog posts discussing research that would enhance the quality of the information that CBO uses in its work. (Earlier posts in the series discussed the need for new research in the areas of energy and the environmentfinancehealthlabormacroeconomics, and national security.) Please send comments to communications@cbo.gov. Since this CBO blog post is believed to contain information of general interest it is being reproduced here, in full, as an information service.

CBO regularly provides the Congress with information about the ways that the government’s tax and transfer system affects the distribution of household income (for example, CBO 2022). That analysis is built on the models and data underlying the agency’s baseline projections of revenues and spending (CBO 2023). CBO is on the lookout for new research that would enhance its analysis of taxes and transfers, including research related to distributional analysis and projections of revenues from business income. The agency is currently working on those topics, and there are significant gaps in the relevant research literature.

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