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Senate AI Working Group Releases Policy Roadmap

Today, the Senate AI Working Group – led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), as well as Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Todd Young (R-IN) – published an AI policy roadmap, detailing key findings and recommendations that are driving the development of comprehensive legislation to regulate and advance artificial intelligence. This roadmap details the lessons learned from the AI Insight Forums that were held last year, provides concrete recommendations on funding that should be allocated for artificial intelligence,  and furthers several policy solutions that would hinder the negative ramifications of AI while supporting innovation.


The roadmap follows the same priorities that were focused on during the AI Insight Forums: Supporting U.S. Innovation in AI; AI and the Workforce; High-Impact Uses of AI; Elections and Democracy; Privacy and Liability; Transparency, Explainability, Intellectual Property, and Copyright; Safeguarding Against AI Risks; and AI and National Security.


There were several key recommendations included in the roadmap, which indicate the top efforts that are likely to be prioritized in legislative action around AI. The guiding document emphasizes that congressional committees are at the center of the development of AI legislation, and committees should continue to work together to write the various components of the bill that are under their respective jurisdictions. These efforts include:


Enactment of the CREATE AI Act (S.2714), which would authorize the full development of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource under the oversight of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and with input from an interagency steering committee.


Enactment of the Future of AI Innovation Act (S.4178), which would fully establish  the US AI Safety Institute to propel guidelines on using AI, while also creating new test bed programs with national labs to evaluate AI systems and directing agencies to make curated datasets available for public use.


Enactment of the AI Grand Challenges Act (S.4236), which would authorize the NSF Director to implement grand challenges with competitive awards for innovative artificial intelligence research and development.


Enactment of the Workforce Data for Analyzing and Tracking Automation Act (S.2138), which would direct the Secretary of Labor to develop strategies that would address the impact of AI and automation on the U.S. workforce.


Allocation of $32 billion annually for non-defense AI innovation that would support AI-related research at federal agencies related to energy, healthcare, space, and more. The roadmap also encourages additional funding for a number of other cross-governmental programs for AI research and development.


Inclusion of policies that would support AI deployment across additional sectors, while establishing consistent transparency requirements for AI systems.


Enactment of a federal data privacy framework in tandem with the development of any AI legislative effort.


This roadmap has been a highly anticipated piece of the process for stakeholders interested in the development (and potential enactment) of AI legislation. Leaders of the Senate AI Working Group have stated that as committees continue to lead on this process, there continues to be bipartisan support for at least some movement on AI policy this year. However, the report notably amends the previously-held notion of focusing on compiling a totally comprehensive package of AI legislation – instead proposing that Congress should move forward on whichever bills are possible this Congress, and this work will continue next Congress.


While the release of this report is welcome news for the myriad of entities focused on AI, there are still many discussions yet to be had before there will be movement on AI policy.


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