WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The country’s top tech CEOs and Congress agree the government has to regulate artificial intelligence.
“This is something that’s potentially risky for all humans everywhere,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk after a closed- door meeting with senators on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
However, many of the biggest players in AI warn developing specific standards at the national and international levels will take time.
“A lot of people feel like it’s just a wild, wild west out there, that people can do anything with AI, and there are no consequences, but that’s not true,” said TechNet CEO Linda Moore, who represents Big Tech companies.
Moore said rather than starting from scratch, lawmakers can build on existing laws to make sure the benefits of AI outweigh the risks.
“It’s probably the medical breakthroughs and also the ability to predict critical and severe weather that is probably the most exciting for me,” she said. “The benefits to society are enormous.”
Lawmakers have introduced a slew of proposals that aim to make AI safe and secure for users, from privacy protections to more transparency, but Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said they may first have to address AI’s potential to influence elections.
“That one has a quicker timetable maybe than some of the others,” Schumer said. “It’s very important to do.”
Schumer said legislation could focus on requiring disclaimers for AI-generated election ads with deceptive images and sounds, known as deepfakes. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-SD, agrees that should be a priority and stresses the U.S. has to be a global leader on all AI regulations.
“We have the opportunity. We’re there now,” Rounds said. “We don’t want to lose that.”
Lawmakers have not established a timeline for any bills, but Moore expects them to take up legislation early next year.
The European Union recently signed off on the world’s first set of comprehensive AI rules. They will govern any product or service that uses AI and classify them according to levels of risk.