US House Forms AI Task Force As Legislation Stalls

Two US House of Representatives leaders are forming a bipartisan task force on artificial intelligence (AI) as efforts to push through regulations on the technology have stalled.

The House task force follows several high-profile forums on AI formed by the Senate in recent months.

House speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, and minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat, said the task force would study how the US can lead in AI while also studying ways of heading off potential threats including fake content, misinformation and job elimination.

Each of the leaders has appointed 12 members, and the group is to be led by two Californians with computer science backgrounds, Johnson and Jeffries said.

‘Promises and complexities’

Chair Jay Obernolte, a Republican, has a master’s degree in AI and owns a video game development firm, while co-chair Ted Lieu, a member of the Democratic leadership team, last year wrote a bill to regulate AI using OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The task force is to write a comprehensive report including guiding principles, recommendations and policy proposals developed with House committees of jurisdiction, the leaders said.

“It is important for Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to understand and plan for both the promises and the complexities of this transformative technology,” Johnson said in a statement.

Jeffries said it was important to “ensure that everyday Americans benefit from these advancements in an equitable manner” while “preventing bad actors from exploiting this evolving technology”.

Election risk

In January a fake robocall in US president Joe Biden’s voice discouraged voters from participating in the New Hampshire primaries.

On Friday 20 of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Amazon, Adobe, Google, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, TikTok and X, vowed to take measures against the misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) to disrupt elections around the world this year.

Last October BIden signed an executive order that aimed to set out AI safeguards.

Generative AI tools that are increasingly accessible and powerful have surged in popularity over the past year, following the debut of ChatGPT in late 2022.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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