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Bipartisan Lawmakers Discuss AI Policy at Americans for Responsible Innovation Forum on Capitol Hill

U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and U.S. House Members Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jim Himes (D-CT), and Don Beyer (D-VA) joined ARI President Brad Carson to discuss the path forward on AI policy.
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U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and U.S. House Members Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jim Himes (D-CT), and Don Beyer (D-VA) joined ARI President Brad Carson to discuss the path forward on AI policy.
ARI President Brad Carson (left) moderates a panel discussion with U.S. House Members [from left] Jim Himes (D-CT), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Don Beyer (D-VA).

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2024 — Bipartisan lawmakers from the House and Senate gathered on Capitol Hill yesterday at an artificial intelligence policy event to discuss some of the most pressing challenges surrounding the technology facing Congress and the federal government. The AI Policy Impact Forum, convened by Americans for Responsible Innovation (ARI), was held at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and featured U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), as well as U.S. House Members Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jim Himes (D-CT), and Don Beyer (D-VA). 

 

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Members and Senators who joined us on the Hill to have serious discussions about the approach Washington is taking to AI. It was important for us to hear from the lawmakers who are really leading on this issue and who are considering AI policy in a thoughtful and forward-looking way,” said ARI President Brad Carson. “This was our first opportunity to bring lawmakers together for an open conversation on the wide variety of policy issues concerning AI, and to demonstrate our approach to helping our elected officials think about and develop a governance framework for AI that balances competing priorities, from addressing current harms, to protecting from emerging risks and promoting innovation. We think the Forum was a big success in that regard.”

 

During the event, Members and Senators from across the aisle went into detail on a wide range of AI policy issues, discussing everything from competition with China, to data privacy concerns, to small business impacts, demonstrating how far-reaching the technology’s impact has become in Washington. 

U.S. House Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and ARI President Brad Carson

 

Senator Young, part of the Bipartisan Senate AI Working Group that recently unveiled its AI policy roadmap, explained, “This is a pivotal moment to get right in our history. I think the AI Roadmap has contributed to the conversation around establishing global standards and investing more in our own efforts in the U.S., and now it is time for the committees of jurisdiction over various aspects of AI policy in the Senate to take the baton laid out by the plan and run with it.”

From left: ARI President Brad Carson and U.S. House Members Jim Hines (D-CT), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA).

 

During a roundtable discussion moderated by Carson, House AI Task Force Co-Chair Lieu, addressing global competition on AI, stated, “Western countries and companies are at the frontier of developing large language models, which are really the leap forward with AI technology. Our adversaries can eventually catch up, but it won’t take 20 years like with our Air Force and jet fighter capabilities, for example.”

 

In addressing federal priorities for AI policy, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Himes stated, “In terms of regulating AI, if we really wanted to take a constructive step, we would pass a federal data privacy bill. If we can’t determine who owns what data under what circumstances, then how do you regulate a technology that is fundamentally developed and driven by data? If we have to put something at the top of the list, let’s start there.”

 

Alongside his colleagues, Rep. Beyer addressed next steps for the House Task Force and the White House Executive Order on AI, stating, “I’m immensely proud of the Executive Order, which is the largest in history and has allowed America to drive forward on AI. I’m hopeful that, as a Member of the House Task Force on AI, we will look at what pieces of the Executive Order can be affirmed through legislation in Congress.”

ARI President Brad Carson and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).

 

Closing out the event in a discussion with Carson, Senator Ernst encouraged the audience to “know that the United States Congress is engaging on a wide variety of AI issues. For example, as the Ranking Member on the Small Business Committee, we have a number of avenues to engage with AI, including through the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program. Developing guardrails as outlined in the AI roadmap is the right thing to do, but we need to do so in a way that doesn’t hinder the opportunities of the future.”

 

ARI will continue to pursue discussions on AI policy with lawmakers, thought leaders, and other stakeholders in the run-up to the election. The organization recently lauded the rollout of the Bipartisan Senate AI Working Group roadmap, and co-led a joint letter signed by over 90 organizations, companies, and universities to support NIST funding for AI-related work earlier this year.

 

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About Americans for Responsible Innovation (ARI)

 

Americans for Responsible Innovation (ARI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to policy advocacy in the public interest, focused on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). Learn more at www.ari.us.

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