- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, unveiled a legislative framework for AI and urged Congress to act on the rapidly evolving technology, during a Wednesday speech in Washington at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The SAFE Innovation Framework for AI policy follows his April announcement of a legislative push on AI.
- "AI moves so quickly and changes at near exponential speed, and there’s such little legislative history on this issue, so a new process is called for,” Schumer said Wednesday. “The traditional approach of committee hearings play an essential role but won’t on their own suffice.”
- Schumer plans to host a series of AI insight forums in the fall with the goal of laying down the foundation for AI policy. The legislative proposal follows President Joe Biden's discussion of AI risks with tech leaders in California Tuesday.
Congress and the White House have moved quickly to play a role in the evolving AI conversation as companies release technology faster than legislators can regulate it.
The framework unveiled Wednesday "calls for security, accountability, protecting our foundations, and, lastly, explainability – the last being one of the most important and most difficult technical issues in all of AI," Schumer said.
When ChatGPT launched in late November, it didn’t take long for companies to embed OpenAI’s technology and for vendors to build similar models at a speed that worried leaders in the field. As AI regulation talks have ramped up around the world, the White House has made efforts to keep pace.
Because OpenAI, a U.S.-based company, developed the technology, the federal government has emphasized balancing innovation with protecting Americans from potential risks.
Congress has stepped up, holding judiciary subcommittee hearings for AI experts amid waves of regulation discussions around the world. Schumer is taking it a step further with his proposal to increase transparency, responsibility and accountability around AI.
As part of a White House sprint to meet with AI stakeholders in recent months, Biden joined Gov. Gavin Newsom of California in San Francisco Tuesday to discuss the risks and opportunities of AI.
“We need to manage the risks to our society, to our economy and our national security,” Biden said during the event. “My administration is committed to safeguarding American’s rights and safety, from protecting privacy to addressing bias and disinformation, to making sure AI systems are safe before they are released.”
Biden hosted the California event alongside the Democratic governor and Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Jim Steyer, CEO at Common Sense Media; Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy; and Tristan Harris, executive director and co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, were also in attendance.
The White House efforts on AI will continue next month when Vice President Kamala Harris brings together civil rights leaders and consumer protection groups, Biden said Tuesday.
Harris and Biden met with AI leaders in May to discuss AI risks and possibilities. Members of the group included OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy proposed an AI Bill of Rights in October, which includes best practices to ensure guardrails are built into AI systems from the inception.