GOP Senator Signals Caution On Possible AI Legislation

While President Biden’s team prepares new executive action to address the modern digital threat, Senator Mike Rounds urges federal authorities to avoid restricting artificial intelligence.

Conflict between legislators and regulators over artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more likely. With federal officials gearing up for Mr. Biden to soon issue an executive order on AI, the South Dakota Republican has recently called for patience.

The authority to determine America’s AI policy is a contention between Congress and the Biden administration. During a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the effects of AI on the financial sector, this discord became clear.

Mr. Rounds emphasized the importance of U.S. officials avoiding rules that stifle creativity and new ideas. If they don’t, officials risk giving China free rein in the nascent technology market. He warned that while we must have open and honest conversations about the risks involved, we cannot ignore that our global competitors, such as China, have no plans to slow down. To prevent unforeseen consequences, financial regulators should let Congress act and refrain from overly regulating emerging technologies.

According to Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, preparations are being made for President Biden to sign an executive order on artificial intelligence later this year.

This week on Capitol Hill, people were worried about how artificial intelligence tools will affect national security and the economy. Two Senate committees looked into the potential dangers of these AI advancements: the Banking Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Sherrod Brown, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has expressed worry that Congress should not ignore the AI transformation of the American economy, which might lead to a significant reliance on new technical tools by banks, brokers, and insurers.

During a hearing on Tuesday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner voiced concern that artificial intelligence could aid in market manipulation.

The Democrat from Virginia brought up how AI tools have aided the CIA and other branches of the US intelligence community in their ability to sense, interpret, and translate information. However, the United States must be prepared for the possibility that its foreign enemies will develop superior capabilities.

A vote on AI legislation in Congress is progressing quickly and may not happen this year.