As Congress gears up to begin drafting bipartisan regulations and laws pertaining to artificial intelligence (AI), U.S. Senator Jack Reed today attended a high-profile, bipartisan AI Insight Forum, led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and co-hosted by U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Todd Young (R-IN).
Speakers at the forum included several leading tech CEOs, as well as AI industry leaders, critics, skeptics, labor leaders, members of the arts and entertainment industry, and others.
The AI summit, which took place in the Kennedy Caucus Room, included remarks from: Elon Musk, CEO of X/Tesla; Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta; Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft; Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI; Rumman Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google; Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google; Elizabeth Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO; Meredith Stiehm, president of the Writers Guild; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; and Maya Wiley, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights.
Senator Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the forum kicks off an enormously important and complex undertaking, as Congress begins to grapple with developing regulations, laws, and a framework for the future of artificial intelligence policy.
“This was a very productive and informative meeting that highlighted AI uses, challenges, and opportunities. It provided a lot of food for thought as we begin to grapple with these issues and kick off a series of public hearings and meetings and build a regulatory framework for AI.
“There was unanimous consensus that there should be federal regulation of AI and it should be done rapidly, but very carefully. As with any great technology, there are benefits and also dangers. And we have to be able to separate the one from the other in a regulatory scheme. We have to have effective standards in place and test the standards.
“This has to be a bipartisan issue and we’ll need bipartisan cooperation to move forward in a constructive way. I am focused on AI from a national security standpoint, but I also have questions and concerns about AI’s broader societal impacts. And it was important that this forum included presentations from labor, civil rights, and creative groups and those concerns were heard directly by the technology industry leaders in attendance. I’d say the tone was very collaborative. I think we’ll need to carry that collaborative spirit forward as we dig into hearings and eventually legislative and regulatory action and oversight,” said Reed.
Today’s inaugural forum is the first of nine sessions Majority Leader Schumer has scheduled. These meetings will compliment upcoming public hearings addressing AI’s impacts on a wide range of issues, including national security, workers, the economy, copyright protections, transparency and disclosure, social challenges and ethical issues.
“AI is advancing at a rapid pace and shaping the future. Similar to Slater Mill – the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, which changed manufacturing and communities across America forever – AI has the potential to power a new transformation in the global economy and lead to all sorts of technological and societal advancements. The United States needs to be forward-looking and understand the challenges and risks, while ensuring America remains at the forefront of digital and technological leadership. Ultimately, we must ensure AI is ethically and appropriately used for the betterment of humankind and Americans can tap into new opportunities,” said Senator Reed.
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