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California's 40th District

Jan 16, 2024 | In The News

Spectrum News 1

Artificial intelligence is increasingly popping up all around us — at home, at work and even on our commutes, courtesy of self-driving cars. But as its capabilities grow, so do the questions swirling around it.

Congress has been dipping its toe into AI in recent months with hearings and roundtable discussions on the topic, trying to learn more about AI — and, importantly, both how to regulate it and who should be in charge of doing so. The most recent step being taken is the creation of a bipartisan AI working group under the House Financial Services Committee.

What You Need To Know:
-The House Financial Services Committee has launched a bipartisan AI working group
-Back in 2023, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence that sought to steer its development so that public safety is not jeopardized but the benefits of the technology could be utilized
-The working group will be working over the next several months on fact finding, with the goal is to eventually put together a report for congressional colleagues on the subject, and eventually a hearing on the issue

“AI has tremendous potential to transform our lives for the better, but we also need to address the potential risks associated with it. And that’s what this working group is going to review, we’re going to look at, especially in the financial services and housing industries, we’re going to look at how AI impacts that,” said Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., one of the newly-appointed members to the working group.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence that sought to steer its development. The goal is to ensure that the benefits of the technology can be utilized without putting public safety in jeopardy.

In a release announcing the new working group, Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. and Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., declared the group a “forum to examine the directives from the Executive Order related to the Committee’s jurisdiction.” It will also build on the work of a task force on artificial intelligence in the 116th and 117th Congresses.

Kim said in an interview with Spectrum News she understands the concern around AI potentially replacing jobs, particularly in industries where tech companies are already utilizing the technology for data entry and other tasks.

“I know people are looking at AI, a lot of them are already applying it. There are concerns that maybe AI is going to replace and take over all of the workforce that we have. It’s a legitimate concern. But I would like to say that rather than the workforce being replaced by AI, I want to see the workforce improved by AI,” explained Kim.

Without tackling this issue head-on, Kim — who chairs the Subcommittee on Indo-Pacific — says she is concerned it could put the U.S. at risk on the global stage.

“It’s been reported that China is already the world’s second-leading country in AI research and technology, and they are on track to be the AI world leader by 2030. This is all the more reason why we need to remain the leader in developing these emerging technologies in the right way,” said Kim.

“We know they’re spying and controlling its own population, and we know their intent is different than ours. That’s why we need to be a leader in this emerging technologies development areas in the right way and preserve the American values.” 

The group, still in its early days, will likely participate in some fact finding field trips to meet with companies utilizing the technology and see the risks and benefits. The goal is to eventually put together a report on the subject for congressional colleagues, and for the entire Financial Services Committee to hold a hearing on AI some time in late spring or early summer.

Other members of the group include McHenry, Waters, Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., Congressman Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, Rep. Erin Houchin, R-Ind., Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, D-Mass., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill, Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Colo.

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