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Senators propose $32 billion in annual AI spending, but delay regulation| GuyWhoKnowsThings

A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday released a long-awaited legislative plan for artificial intelligence, calling for billions in funding to boost American leadership in the technology while offering few details on regulations to address its risks.

In a 20-page document titled “Driving American Innovation in Artificial Intelligence,” Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and three colleagues called for spending $32 billion annually by 2026 on government research and development of this technology and from the private sector.

Lawmakers recommended creating a federal data privacy law and said they supported legislation, scheduled to be introduced Wednesday, that would prevent the use of deceptive and realistic technology known as deepfakes in election campaigns. But they said congressional committees and agencies should craft regulations on AI, including protections against health and financial discrimination, job cuts and copyright violations caused by technology.

“It's very difficult to set regulations because AI is changing too quickly,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in an interview. “We didn't want to rush this.”

He designed the roadmap with two Republican senators, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Todd Young of Indiana, and a Democratic colleague, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, after their year-long listening tour to hear concerns. on new generative artificial intelligence technologies. Those tools, like OpenAI's ChatGPT, can generate realistic and compelling images, videos, audio, and text. Technology leaders have warned about possible damage of AI, including the destruction of entire job categories, electoral interference, discrimination in housing and finances, and even the replacement of humanity.

Senators' decision to delay AI regulation widens the gap between the United States and the European Union, which this year adopted a law banning the riskiest uses of AI, including some facial recognition apps and tools that can manipulate behavior or discriminate. European law requires transparency about how the systems work and what data they collect. Dozens of U.S. states have also proposed privacy and artificial intelligence laws that would prohibit certain uses of the technology.

Aside from recent legislation requiring the sale or ban of social media app TikTok, Congress has not approved major technology legislation in years, despite multiple proposals.

“It's disappointing because right now we've missed several windows of opportunity to act while the rest of the world has done so,” said Amba Kak, co-executive director of the nonprofit AI Now Institute and former AI adviser to the federal government. Commerce Commission.

Mr. Schumer's efforts on AI legislation began in June with a high profile forum series that gathered technology leaders, including Elon Musk of Tesla, Sundar Pichai of Google and Sam Altman of OpenAI.

(The New York Times has sued OpenAI and its partner, Microsoft, over their use of the publication's copyrighted works in developing AI.)

Schumer said in the interview that through the forums, lawmakers had begun to understand the complexity of artificial intelligence technologies and how expert agencies and congressional committees were better equipped to create regulations.

The legislative roadmap encourages greater federal investment in the growth of domestic research and development.

“This is kind of the American way: We're more entrepreneurial,” Schumer said in the interview, adding that lawmakers hoped to make “innovation the north star.”

In a separate briefing with reporters, he said the Senate was more likely to consider AI proposals piecemeal rather than in one big legislative package.

“What we would hope for is to have some bills that will certainly pass the Senate and hopefully the House by the end of the year,” Schumer said. “It will not cover the entire coastal area. “There is too much coastline to cover and things are changing very quickly.”

He added that his staff had spoken with President Mike Johnson's office.

Maya Wiley, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, participated in the first forum. He said closed-door meetings were “burdensome for the tech industry” and that the report's focus on promoting innovation overshadowed the real-world harms that could result from artificial intelligence systems, noting that financial and health had already shown signs of discrimination against certain ethnic groups. and racial groups.

Ms Wiley has called for greater attention to be paid to research into new products to ensure they are safe and work without biases that may affect certain communities.

“We should not assume that we do not need additional rights,” he said.

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