June 21, 2023
Congress is in a race against the clock to regulate artificial intelligence and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is unrolling the early-stage steps that the chamber will take to try to get a handle on the rapidly evolving technology.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, poses potential peril to humankind, science and technology experts warned last month, writing in a statement posted on the Center for AI Safety’s website that “mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
Now, Congress is wading into the regulatory space, with leaders from both parties leading efforts to educate their members on and draft legislation around regulating artificial intelligence.
Schumer outlined early steps Wednesday for how Congress can rise to the challenge of regulating the industry before it’s too late.
“We have no choice but to acknowledge that AI’s changes are coming, and in many cases are already here. We ignore them at our own peril,” his prepared remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies read. “Many want to ignore AI because it’s so complex. But when it comes to AI, we cannot be ostriches sticking our heads in the sand. The question is: what role does Congress and the federal government have in this new revolution?” Schumer said.
Schumer’s SAFE Innovation framework, unveiled Wednesday, outlines four pillars that he hopes will guide future bipartisan collaboration on legislation governing AI: security, accountability, protecting our foundations and explainability. Lawmakers, Schumer said, should focus their efforts on ensuring U.S. security pertaining to AI and accountability to ensure issues like misinformation and bias are addressed. AI should also uphold democratic values, and lawmakers should understand why it chooses certain outputs, Schumer said.