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U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer calls for ‘comprehensive’ AI legislation

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The United States majority Senate leader Chuck Schumer plans to call for “comprehensive legislation” regarding safety measures for artificial intelligence (AI). 

Schumer has remarks planned for a meeting at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. on June 21, during which he will highlight the urgency for bipartisan action from Congress on the topic. 

According to excerpts of his speech released by his office, he plans to say that we have “no choice but to acknowledge that AI’s changes are coming,” and a strategy is needed that encourages innovation.

“We are going to work very hard to come up with comprehensive legislation. Because this is so important, we are going to do everything we can to succeed.”

Schumer plans to highlight the potential difficulties in creating legislation for “every single issue” that may arise with the emergence of AI. He will call it “unlike anything we’ve dealt with before.” 

Questions that are planned to be posed include how much federal intervention there should be in regard to tax and spending, along with a question of whether federal intervention is even necessary at all. 

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Schumer will also argue for safe innovation that makes the public feel comfortable: 

“But if people don’t think innovation can be done safely, that will stifle AI’s development and even prevent us from moving forward.”

This comes one day after U.S. President Joe Biden met with experts from Silicon Valley on June 20 regarding the White House’s commitment to “seizing the opportunities and managing the risks” of AI. 

During the meeting, Biden said he’s also focused on citizens’ rights and privacy, along with addressing biases and misinformation prior to the release of AI systems. 

Previously, in April, Biden met with executives from OpenAI, Microsoft and Google’s Alphabet to discuss AI. 

Lawmakers all across the U.S. are actively considering regulations for AI. The same day Biden met with Silicon Valley experts, a bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed a new bill for the creation of a commission to study the country’s approach to the technology.

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