As AI booms, lawmakers struggle to understand the technology

As AI booms, lawmakers struggle to understand the technology

As AI booms, lawmakers struggle to understand the technology

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In November 2016, the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness held the first congressional hearing on AI, with Mr. Musk’s warnings being cited twice by lawmakers. During the hearing, academics and the chief executive of OpenAI, a San Francisco lab, either denied Musk’s predictions or said they were at least many years away.


Some lawmakers have stressed the importance of the country’s leadership in the development of AI. Congress must “ensure that the United States remains a world leader throughout the 21st century,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the subcommittee, at the time.

DARPA later announced that it was committing $2 billion to AI research projects.

Warnings about the dangers of AI have intensified in 2021 as the Vatican, IBM and Microsoft pledge to develop “ethical AI”, meaning organizations are transparent about how the technology works, respect the privacy and minimize prejudice. The group called for regulation of facial recognition software, which uses large databases of photos to identify people’s identities. In Washington, some lawmakers have tried to create rules for facial recognition technology and for corporate audits to prevent discriminatory algorithms. The bills were going nowhere.

“It’s not a priority and it doesn’t seem urgent to members,” said Beyer, who failed to garner enough support last year to push through a bill on algorithm audits. of IA, sponsored by Representative Yvette D. Clarke, Democrat of New York. .

More recently, some government officials have tried to bridge the knowledge gap around AI In January, about 150 lawmakers and their teams held a meeting, hosted by the usually sleepy AI Caucus, which included Jack Clark, a founder of AI company Anthropic.

Some actions around AI are underway in federal agencies, which apply laws already in force. The Federal Trade Commission has issued enforcement orders against companies that have used AI in violation of its consumer protection rules. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also warned that opaque AI systems used by credit reporting agencies could violate anti-discrimination laws.

The FTC has also proposed trade oversight regulations to limit the collection of data used in AI technology, and the Food and Drug Administration has released a list of AI technology in medical devices that fall under its jurisdiction. skill.


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