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Just in: Senators to hold AI briefings

Jun 6, 2023
Chuck Schumer points

Schumer on March 5, 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A bipartisan group of senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, told lawmakers Tuesday about three upcoming AI briefings this summer, including one that will be classified.

Driving the news: Schumer and Sens. Mike Rounds, Martin Heinrich and Todd Young sent a Dear Colleague letter about the briefings.

Details: The letter says that during this work period, there will be three briefings based on the following questions:

  • Where is AI today?
  • How does the U.S. maintain leadership on AI?
  • How is the U.S. military, and U.S. adversaries, using AI? (This briefing will be classified.)

What they're saying: "The Senate must deepen our expertise in this pressing topic. AI is already changing our world, and experts have repeatedly told us that it will have a profound impact on everything from our national security to our classrooms to our workforce, including potentially significant job displacement," the senators wrote in the letter.

  • "We must take the time to learn from the leading minds in AI, across sectors, and consider both the benefits and risks of this technology. We will share more details on dates, times, and speakers in the coming days."

The big picture: Lawmakers have shown a lot of interest in AI, and there is general bipartisan agreement that regulation is needed but differing ideas on how to do so. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is pushing forward with various frameworks and guidelines.

Flashback: Schumer said in April he was spearheading an effort to craft legislation around AI.

Our thought bubble: A classified briefing brings a new level of seriousness to lawmakers' efforts to understand and get ahead of AI. But real, consequential policymaking is going to be difficult.

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