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Fair Play in Tech: Regulator Says Apple and Disney Can’t Skip AI Votes

Apple and Disney Can’t Skip AI Votes

Apple and Disney have been told by the U.S. government that they must let their shareholders vote on how they use artificial intelligence. This decision was made by the top securities regulator in the U.S.


The regulator, known as the SEC, said no to Apple and Disney's requests to skip these votes. They asked to not include these topics in their big yearly meetings, but the SEC insisted that shareholders should have a say on AI use.


Companies are using new technology to work more efficiently. But people are worried it might take over creative and professional jobs or use their work unfairly. This has been a problem in Hollywood labor fights and a lawsuit by the New York Times.


The same kind of requests to vote about AI were made by a pension trust of the AFL-CIO, America's biggest labor union group. They also have similar issues to discuss at four other tech companies.

At Apple, the labor group asked for details on how the company uses AI in its work and if it follows any ethical rules for using AI. They made a similar request to Disney, asking for a report on how their board oversees AI use.


The AFL-CIO mentioned in their statement to Apple that AI should not use copyrighted material or imitate professional artists without clear permission and payment to the original creators.


Brandon Rees from the AFL-CIO thinks the SEC's decision might help make Apple and Disney share more about their AI use like Microsoft already does. He said that Apple and Disney haven't addressed the ethical concerns about AI yet.


Neither Apple nor Disney responded right away when asked for comments. They both said earlier that these shareholder requests weren't needed on their voting lists because they were just regular business choices.


The SEC didn't agree with them. They said the issue is important and not just a small detail of business, so it should be included in the company voting.


FAQs

Q1: Have Apple and Disney responded to the SEC's ruling?

As of the latest reports, Apple and Disney had not immediately responded to requests for comment on the SEC's ruling.


Q2: Who filed the shareholder proposals for Apple and Disney?

The proposals were filed by a pension trust of the AFL-CIO, the largest American labor union federation.


Q3: Why did Apple and Disney want to skip shareholder votes on AI?

Both companies argued that the proposals were related to "Ordinary Business Operations," like choosing technologies, and thus didn't need to be included in shareholder votes.


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