Members of Congress provided a range of opinions on regulating AI, but several agreed that bipartisanship is the key to moving forward with a framework, lawmakers on Capitol Hill told Fox News.
China and the European Union have recently drafted AI regulations, but Congress hasn’t passed any legislation since the tech’s recent rapid development. Republicans worry that lawmakers could overregulate AI and harm innovation, while Democrats fear that machine learning poses potential threats to consumers.
“There is an urgent need for regulation,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, a New York Democrat, told Fox News. “But we have to get it right. We have to be careful not to regulate prematurely or haphazardly.”
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Rep. Tony Cárdenas, another Democrat, agreed: “We need to have regulations in Europe, around the world, and we need to have regulations on AI right here in the United States.”
Nearly 40 countries passed AI laws last year, Gary Marcus, who hosts the AI-themed podcast, “Humans vs Machines with Gary Marcus,” told Fox News last week. He called for international coordination to regulate the technology.
But Republicans who spoke with Fox News said overregulation is also a concern.
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“If you overregulate, as we tend to do, you’re going to stifle innovation,” Rep. Nancy Mace said. “If we overregulate like other countries around the world, in European Union for example, we can’t even imagine some of the ways that it will be used.”
The EU’s Parliament approved the Artificial Intelligence Act last week, which would restrict how AI platforms use consumer data and limit how AI can be used for facial recognition and predictive policing. The Cyberspace Administration of China released regulations in April that outline rules AI companies must follow to avoid penalties, such as complying with socialist values and government security reviews of machine learning models before they are released publicly.
“Congress is clearly behind on AI,” Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance said. “ But I also think that our answers are going to be a lot different than the Democrats’ answers.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released a framework for AI regulation and met with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to discuss the plan last month, but so far no AI regulation has been passed. Those rules would lay out ethical restrictions as well as require tech companies to disclose its data sources and who trained the algorithm and to explain how the models arrive at their responses.
“Can Chuck Schumer and the Biden administration do anything substantive to stop the China assault on AI? No, they have no willingness to do it,” GOP Rep. Ralph Norman said. “We’re going in two different directions with a Republican plan versus a Democrat plan.”
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Despite their different positions, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said bipartisan cooperation on AI is needed to get anything passed.
“AI Is going to be so revolutionary that it transcends partisanship and that we as a country have to figure out how do we remain the leaders of AI and how do we make it work for the American people,” Torres told Fox News.
Vance said: “There’s a broad concern about it, and I think that gives some opportunity for bipartisanship.”
To watch the lawmakers’ full interviews, click here.
Gabrielle Reyes contributed to this report.
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