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Bipartisan crew of lawmakers unveil Senate's 'roadmap' to better regulate AI

By Chris Benson
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that “No technology offers more promise to our modern world than artificial intelligence." Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI
1 of 3 | Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that “No technology offers more promise to our modern world than artificial intelligence." Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI | License Photo

May 15 (UPI) -- A small bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled "roadmap" for regulating the growing artificial intelligence industry which calls for a $32 billion investment.

"After talking to advocates, critics, academics, labor groups, civil rights leaders, stakeholders, developers, and more, our working group was able to identify key areas of policy that have bipartisan consensus," Schumer, D-N.Y., had said in a statement, adding how work now continues "with urgency and humility."

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Working with Schumer on the Bipartisan Senate AI Working Group to create the AI "roadmap" were Sens. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. and Todd Young, R-Ind.

"No technology offers more promise to our modern world than artificial intelligence," Schumer said Wednesday.

"But AI also presents a host of new policy challenges," Schumer said, adding how "harnessing the potential of AI demands an all-hands-on-deck approach and that's exactly what our bipartisan AI working group has been leading."

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The roadmap touches on areas like supporting innovation, AI's use in the workforce, in securing elections, privacy and transparency to national security. It also outlines a series of steps the government can or should be taking for the United States to get up-to-speed with the latest AI technological developments and calls for congressional action to be taken at several levels.

On social media, Young called it "the most comprehensive and impactful bipartisan recommendations" on AI "ever issued" by the United States government's legislative branch.

The unveiling of the Senate's AI roadmap came the day after representatives of the United States and China got together in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday for the first high-level discussion on artificial intelligence between the two economic superpowers, Biden administration officials had previously confirmed.

At a January congressional hearing, several lawmakers had urged caution in using the technology.

On Wednesday, Heinrich had called the measures "necessary guardrails to better ensure AI comes as a benefit to Americans -- not a threat," he wrote on X.

"In the midst of rapid AI advancements, the Senate can lead or be led," Heinrich, co-chair and co-founder of the Senate's Artificial Intelligence Caucus, said in a news release as he called on his senate colleagues to act on new legislation.

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The "roadmap," he said, "positions us to unlock AI innovation that will deliver major scientific and medical advancements and help maintain our global leadership."

In March, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved its landmark Artificial Intelligence Act which was designed to place restrictions on and ban some applications of AI it deems "high-risk."

The release of the senate's AI "roadmap" came the same day the Senate Rules Committee was to discuss other AI-related legislation.

"Transparency is a core tenet of our ethics code and our members are concerned that news companies are attempting to implement AI to juice profit and cut costs," NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss said at a November senate hearing about the use of AI in the news industry.

"We have a long history of bargaining over the implementation of new technology and we join other unions calling on Congress to support the right of workers to bargain over AI and its use in the workplace," said the head of the largest journalist union in North America.

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