The largest lobbying group in the United States, the US Chamber of Commerce, has signalled its concerns about the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and its impact on businesses.

In a surprising move considering its traditional anti-regulatory stance, the US Chamber of Commerce in its Chamber report on Thursday called for regulation of artificial intelligence technology.

The lobby group is concerned that AI technology could potentially become a national security risk, and is also concerned that its arrival could hurt business growth in the years ahead.

Commerce concerns

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used by all important actors in every aspect of our economy and society, both domestically and globally,” it stated in the report. “Yet in many ways, in terms of technology, economic impact, and AI policy development, we are in the initial stages of a new age.”

“By the end of this decade, AI is projected to increase global economic growth by $13 trillion,” it wrote. “AI is already having a positive impact by helping hospitals address nursing shortages through patient monitoring, helping emergency management officials map wildfire paths for quicker and better responses, and broadening financial inclusion by expanding job applicant pools and new avenues of credit.”

“As with any innovative technology, important concerns have been raised as well,” the report noted. “Many have asked what AI means for humanity; governments struggle to match policies with technologies that are developing at an exponential pace; and workers are concerned about what AI means for them.”

“America’s competitors, such as China, realise the importance of establishing dominance by developing emerging technologies, and others in the international community, such as the European Union, are attempting to write the first regulations governing AI.”

“All of these issues must be debated and addressed in a deliberative and sober manner to create appropriate policies that will provide the pathway for the development and deployment of AI in a responsible and ethical manner,” the report stated. “At the core of the debate is this simple premise – for Americans to reap the benefits of AI, people must trust it. The private sector must be a serious partner in this process.”

Popular chatbots

The report comes amid the increasing popularity of AI chatbots such as ChatGPT .

The US Chamber of Commerce report asserts that within 20 years, “virtually every” business and government agency will use AI.

Despite the report essentially calling for more regulation, the report tempered this by cautioning that there may be broad exceptions to how regulation is applied.

“Rather than trying to develop a one size-fits-all regulatory framework, this approach to AI regulation allows for the development of flexible, industry-specific guidance and best practices,” the report stated.

A word of caution was also sounded last month, when the head of Google’s search engine cautioned about chatbot “hallucination”, as the company touts its rival to ChatGPT.

“This type of artificial intelligence we’re talking about can sometimes lead to something we call hallucination,” Prabhakar Raghavan told a German newspaper. “This is then expressed in such a way that a machine delivers a convincing but completely fictitious answer.”

He said such tools are based on language models that are so “huge” that it’s “impossible for humans to monitor every conceivable behaviour of the system”.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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