AI Regulation — Congress is Far Behind the Curve
Author: Greg Valliere
June 27, 2023
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, who uses a flip-top cell phone, has called for Congressional oversight of AI, but most members of both parties concede they are clueless about the issue. They are relying on deep-dive crash courses, mostly run by industry leaders.
THERE’S LITTLE DOUBT THAT EUROPE is far ahead of the U.S. on regulation; the EU has passed legislation that covers transparency, data protection, national security, misinformation, the impact on jobs, etc. These are complex issues that are very unlikely to move in Washington until 2024 at the earliest.
SO CONGRESS IS COLLECTIVELY taking a crash course, relying on the industry to identify problems and solutions, with GOP Sen. Mike Rounds working with Schumer on several key issues.
FOR NOW, AMERICAN COMPANIES — including Microsoft, OpenAI and Google — are aggressively lobbying governments around the world, saying that they are in favor of new AI regulations. Since the beginning of the year, they have aggressively advocated greater transparency around AI and responsible uses of such technology.
SCHUMER WANTS TO DEVELOP A CONSENSUS, but he was very light on details in a recent speech. He conceded that it will take months or longer to reach a compromise in Congress, as two competing themes may emerge. On the right, there’s a desire not not to stifle innovation; on the left, there’s support for aggressive oversight, perhaps including the creation of a new regulatory agency.
WE HAVE TALKED WITH EXPERTS who note, scathingly, that Congress still hasn’t clarified issues such as data privacy protection and anti-competitive computer practices. The AI issue appears to be even more complicated, so it could be later this decade before Congress passes major legislation . . . as the U.S. lags far behind in the bold new world of AI, which almost certainly requires regulation of surveillance and misinformation.
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