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An Inside Look at Congress’s First AI Regulation Forum

 |  September 26, 2023

By: Tate Ryan-Mosely (MIT Technology Review)

Recently, I authored a brief guide discussing anticipated topics for Congress’s inaugural AI Insight Forum. Now that the event has taken place, crucial insights have emerged regarding the confidential discussions within this high-profile gathering of tech influencers.

Before delving into the details, some background is necessary. The inception of the AI Insight Forums was announced a few months back by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as part of his “SAFE Innovation” initiative, outlining key AI legislative principles in the United States. Notably, the guest list heavily favored executives from prominent tech companies, including AI CEOs, albeit with some representation from civil society and AI ethics researchers. For a more comprehensive understanding, you can refer to my prior writings concerning the forums and Congress’s prospective approach to AI legislation.

Early coverage of the meeting has placed significant emphasis on unanimous consensus regarding the necessity of AI regulation, with notable attention given to concerns voiced by individuals such as Elon Musk regarding the “civilizational risks” tied to AI (for further details, the Tech Policy Press tracker is a valuable resource).

However, to gain a deeper understanding, I had a conversation with one of the attendees, Inioluwa Deborah Raji. She provided an insider’s perspective on the inaugural meeting, shedding light on prevalent misconceptions she sought to dispel and highlighting areas where varying viewpoints were apparent. Raji, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Mozilla fellow, possesses expertise in AI accountability, bias, and risk assessments, earning recognition as one of the top Innovators Under 35 in 2020.

In this post, I share our edited and condensed dialogue, offering valuable insights into the event’s dynamics and key takeaways…