Schumer urges committee chairs to advance AI bills

Schumer urges committee chairs to advance AI bills

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged committee leaders to advance legislation regulating artificial intelligence (AI) during a Wednesday meeting.

Schumer convened committee chairs to discuss AI a week after releasing a report with guidance on how to regulate AI, the senator said in a statement.

“Building on the release of our bipartisan AI working group roadmap, I urged our Chairs to report out legislation to harness innovation and implement vital policy reforms to democratize access to AI, curb harmful bias, counter deepfakes, protect and adapt the American worker for the AI age, while delivering key guardrails and sustainable innovations concerning explainability, transparency, interoperability, and other actions to reduce societal risks of AI,” Schumer said.

“Ultimately, legislative progress will demand continued bipartisan collaboration, but our Committees are well on their way to making a critical down payment on AI legislation,” he added.

The report released last week by Schumer and Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) did not endorse or advocate for any specific legislative proposals, but rather laid out priorities and guidance for how committees could proceed.

It was the result of a series of AI Insight Forums Schumer convened over the past year with leaders from civil society groups, tech companies and researchers.

Schumer’s push for committees to advance AI bills comes as advocates have been pushing for more aggressive action. Labor, tech, climate and civil rights advocates broadly panned the AI roadmap report released last week for not specifically calling for legislative proposals.

As Congress considers steps to regulate AI, the industry is advancing. In the past two weeks, Microsoft, OpenAI and Google announced updates to bring more AI-enhanced features to users. Apple is expected to make AI announcements at its annual conference next month, too.

Last week, the Senate Rules Committee advanced three election-related AI bills. Although the bills are bipartisan, two of them were opposed by most Republicans on the panel.

So far Congress has yet to pass any AI-specific bills, but many committees have held hearings or discussed potential AI legislation.

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