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US House Forms Bipartisan Task Force to Address AI Concerns

 |  February 20, 2024

Amid mounting concerns over the implications of artificial intelligence (AI), leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives announced on Tuesday the formation of a bipartisan task force aimed at exploring potential legislation to address these pressing issues.

Despite numerous high-level forums and legislative proposals over the past year, efforts in Congress to pass comprehensive legislation regarding AI have hit a roadblock. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries are spearheading the initiative, underscoring the urgency to tackle the challenges posed by AI technologies, reported Reuters.

The newly formed task force will be tasked with producing a comprehensive report that delves into the potential ramifications of AI adoption across various sectors. Specifically, the task force aims to consider “guardrails that may be appropriate to safeguard the nation against current and emerging threats” posed by AI advancements.

One of the focal points of concern is generative AI, which has garnered both excitement and apprehension. This technology has the capability to create text, photos, and videos in response to open-ended prompts, raising fears about job displacement, election integrity, and the potential for AI to surpass human capabilities with catastrophic consequences.

Read more: US FTC’s Chief Says They Seek To Curb Risks Of Artificial Intelligence

The urgency of addressing AI-related challenges was underscored by a recent incident in January when a fake robocall impersonating President Joe Biden surfaced, attempting to dissuade voters from supporting him in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary election. In response, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared calls made with AI-generated voices illegal earlier this month.

The task force’s report aims to provide guiding principles, forward-looking recommendations, and bipartisan policy proposals developed in consultation with various congressional committees. Speaking on the importance of establishing regulatory frameworks, Jeffries emphasized that “the rise of artificial intelligence also presents a unique set of challenges and certain guardrails must be put in place to protect the American people.”

The federal government has already taken preliminary steps to address AI risks. In October, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at mitigating the risks associated with AI technologies. Additionally, in January, the Commerce Department proposed regulations requiring U.S. cloud companies to assess whether foreign entities are accessing U.S. data centers to train AI models, further highlighting the growing recognition of the need for AI oversight and regulation.

As the task force begins its work, stakeholders across government, industry, and academia are closely watching developments, recognizing the critical importance of establishing responsible AI governance frameworks to ensure the safe and ethical development and deployment of these transformative technologies.

Source: Reuters