Senators unveil policy "roadmap" for AI regulation laws and goals for US dominance

Washington DC - Top US lawmakers on Wednesday said efforts to pass laws governing AI were entering a higher gear and hoped to pump $32 billion into the sector to help assure US dominance.

Top US lawmakers on Wednesday said efforts to pass laws governing AI were entering a higher gear.
Top US lawmakers on Wednesday said efforts to pass laws governing AI were entering a higher gear.  © KENT NISHIMURA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said bipartisan legislators had agreed on a policy roadmap and had tasked key senate committees to draft specific proposals on regulating AI.

The US is home to the biggest AI companies in the world and has trailed the EU and other regions on coming up with rules to rein in the sector.

Home to Silicon Valley, the US has always taken a lighter touch to regulating big tech, with criticism that some of the downsides of technology are left unaddressed or up to the companies to fix themselves.

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The call for proposals from Capitol Hill came as the tech giants continued to race out their latest AI products, with OpenAI and Google launching higher-performing and increasingly impressive technology earlier this week.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled the new policy roadmap on Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled the new policy roadmap on Wednesday.  © KENT NISHIMURA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

"After talking to advocates, critics, academics, labor groups, civil rights leaders, stakeholders, developers, and more, our working group was able to identify key areas of policy that have bipartisan consensus," said Schumer.

The most advanced proposals would set guidelines to curb the proliferation of deep fakes and the threats AI poses around disseminating election disinformation, the lawmakers said.

The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday considered two bills on AI transparency and regulation in elections.

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"Our democracy may never recover if we lose the ability to differentiate at all between what is true and what is false, as AI threatens to do," Schumer said.

Bills on defense and promoting AI innovation will also be in the works, according to the roadmap, though these could end up being modifications to existing laws.

Washington seems to be avoiding major legislation encompassing AI broadly that would more closely resemble the EU AI Act, which passed in Europe earlier this year.

And unlike the EU's law, the US is also seeking a major financial injection to the AI industry.

The proposed $32 billion in funding by 2026 aims to boost US innovation in AI to maintain global competitiveness.

Cover photo: KENT NISHIMURA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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