House Launches AI Task Force

Infrastructure Technologies Under Microscope
artificial intelligence/Congress
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Over the coming months, a group of House lawmakers is expected to produce recommendations for legislating on applications related to artificial intelligence.

To assist policy panels with an in-depth understanding of AI technology, the chamber’s leaders recently created a bipartisan task force.

Transportation stakeholders have been raising concerns about AI’s potential for disrupting freight connectivity corridors. AI also has been associated with efforts to disseminate misinformation.

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.) is the task force’s chairman. “It is an honor to be entrusted by Speaker [Mike] Johnson to serve as chairman of the House Task Force on Artificial Intelligence,” Obernolte said Feb. 20. “As new innovations in AI continue to emerge, Congress and our partners in federal government must keep up. House Republicans and Democrats will work together to create a comprehensive report detailing the regulatory standards and congressional actions needed to both protect consumers and foster continued investment and innovation in AI.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) will co-lead the task force with Obernolte.

“AI has the capability of changing our lives as we know it,” Lieu said. “The question is how to ensure AI benefits society instead of harming us. As a recovering computer science major, I know this will not be an easy or quick or one-time task, but I believe Congress has an essential role to play in the future of AI. I have been heartened to see so many members of Congress of all political persuasions agree.”

Congressional leaders anticipate the task force will produce meaningful results and deliver instructions about AI. As Johnson put it, “Led by Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), the task force will bring together a bipartisan group of members who have AI expertise and represent the relevant committees of jurisdiction.”

“As we look to the future,” the speaker indicated, “Congress must continue to encourage innovation and maintain our country’s competitive edge, protect our national security, and carefully consider what guardrails may be needed to ensure the development of safe and trustworthy technology.”

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) added: “Congress has a responsibility to facilitate the promising breakthroughs that artificial intelligence can bring to fruition and ensure that everyday Americans benefit from these advancements in an equitable manner.”

Republican members on the task force include Reps. Darrell Issa of California, French Hill of Arkansas, Michael Cloud of Texas, Neal Dunn of Florida, Ben Cline of Virginia, Kat Cammack of Florida, Scott Franklin of Florida, Michelle Steel of California, Eric Burlison of Missouri, Laurel Lee of Florida and Rich McCormick of Georgia.

Democratic members on the task force include Reps. Anna Eshoo of California, Yvette Clarke of New York, Bill Foster of Illinois, Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Ami Bera of California, Don Beyer of Virginia, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Haley Stevens of Michigan, Sara Jacobs of California, Valerie Foushee of North Carolina and Brittany Pettersen of Colorado.

AI software is expected to have a ubiquitous influence over key freight technologies, such as autonomous vehicles. Congressional policymakers have indicated they intend to proceed with legislation specific to self-driving technology. Adopting a national communication framework would facilitate autonomous vehicle operations.

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