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Exclusive: 'Shadow' AI report released

May 20, 2024
Illustration of a large computer casting a shadow over a smaller computer.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The bipartisan Senate AI roadmap is merely a commitment to spend taxpayer money on "innovation" without laying out how it will help or protect people, according to a new report from public interest, academic and tech accountability groups shared first with Axios.

The big picture: The so-called shadow report says innovation has to be shaped by regulation and democratic accountability to serve the public and prevent further consolidation of tech industry power.

  • Groups involved include Accountable Tech, AI Now, the Center for AI and Digital Policy, Epic, Friends of the Earth, Open Markets, Surveillance Resistance Lab and OpenMarkets.
  • A bipartisan group of senators led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled its sweeping report last week detailing how Congress should regulate AI.

What they're saying: "We intend for this to serve as a reminder to lawmakers that any legislative process that begins with industry in the driver's seat is fated not only to fail the public interest, but even to exacerbate AI's ongoing harms," the shadow report's authors write.

  • "Any future efforts to develop a legislative roadmap to regulate AI must begin with consulting civil society voices and designate meaningful power to those representing impacted communities."
  • The Senate roadmap is the product of a closed-door, lobbying-heavy process that "consistently catered to corporate interest in delaying meaningful action on AI," they write.

The report calls for the Senate to pass enforceable laws addressing a number of topics on AI, including:

  • racial justice and equality
  • immigration
  • labor
  • privacy and surveillance
  • poverty
  • climate change.

Read the whole report here.

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