TechnologyUS Congress asks experts for advice on artificial intelligence

US Congress asks experts for advice on artificial intelligence

The leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, has been talking for months about a goal that may be unattainable: passing a law with bipartisan support that encourages the development of artificial intelligence and mitigates its risks.

On Wednesday, Schumer called a meeting with technology experts, along with others, to advise the US Congress on how to do so.

The closed-door meeting at the Capitol included nearly two dozen technology executives, activists, civil rights groups and union leaders. The guest list included some of the industry’s most prominent leaders, including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg; Elon Musk, from X, and Bill Gates, from Microsoft. All 100 senators were invited; Not so the general public.

Schumer opened the session by declaring that “today, we begin a complex and vital task: laying the foundation for artificial intelligence policy that has bipartisan support and that Congress can pass.”

The lawmaker, who led the meeting along with Republican Sen. Mike Rounds, won’t necessarily take advice from executives as he tries to boost oversight of the booming sector. But he’s hopeful that experts will give Congress some direction to do something he hasn’t been able to do in years: pass meaningful regulation of the tech sector.

“It will be a fascinating group because each one has different points of view,” Schumer said in an interview with The Associated Press before the event. “Hopefully we can get some kind of broad consensus out of this.”

Rounds, who accompanied Schumer in the interview, said Congress needs to anticipate the complications arising from artificial intelligence and ensure that it develops “in a positive way,” addressing potential problems that may arise related to privacy and transparency. .

“Artificial intelligence is not going to disappear. It can do very positive things, or it can be a real challenge,” Rounds said.

There are already some proposals circulating, such as the requirement that electoral advertisements made with images or sounds created with artificial intelligence have a warning. A broader strategy calls for creating a government agency that would have the power to audit certain AI systems to determine whether they can cause harm, before granting them a license.

Schumer indicated that the regulation of artificial intelligence will be “one of the most difficult problems we will have” and lists the reasons: It is technically complicated, it is an area that is constantly evolving and “it has a broad and wide effect throughout the world.” .

The US Congress has a somewhat checkered record when it comes to oversight of the technology sector. Legislators have a large number of proposals, but have not been able to reach a consensus on how to regulate the sector. Large corporations resist, and some legislators are reluctant to apply excessive regulation.


O’Brien reported from Providence; Ali Swenson in New York and Kelvin Chan in London.

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