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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Congress is turning its attention to artificial intelligence, as evidenced by Senator Maria Cantwell's proposed legislation to create an AI advisory committee, which "would serve as a first step in establishing federal policy in an increasingly important sphere," as as Axios' David McCabe puts it.

The news has some AI advocates like Kriti Sharma of Sage Group excited that the federal government can be an edifying force in the development of AI, but there's ample reason to be skeptical of this idea.

The ethics of AI must be taken seriously, as it's been demonstrated that AI has the potential to reinforce racism and sexism and potentially violate rights like privacy and due process. But given the fact that AI ethics is inextricably linked to ideas like implicit bias against racial minorities, which are highly controversial, it's difficult to see how any body assembled by the two major parties could come to many useful agreements on how society should approach the advancement of AI science.

Does AI create of kill jobs? Here's another question that the two parties aren't likely to agree on. Expect the two parties to gravitate towards analyses AI's economic impact that confirm their preconceived notions of the government's proper role in the economy.

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.