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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Vital All-Senators Briefing On Artificial Intelligence

Washington, D.C. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor highlighting yesterday’s Senators-only briefing on artificial intelligence, and the next steps being taken. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday, I joined with many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for the first of a series of all-Senate briefings solely dedicated to the subject of AI.

Yesterday’s AI briefing was a huge success – we had a really strong turnout from both parties and it was an important moment for everyone to get into a room and build a foundation of knowledge on this pressing issue.

If I had to describe our mindset leaving yesterday’s briefing, it was a mix of urgency and humility: urgency because AI is developing so damn fast, and humility because AI is stupendously complex.

Congress has only a limited amount of time to stay proactive on Artificial Intelligence, and I think yesterday’s briefing made that clear. The potential societal benefits from AI are astounding: from medical advances and innovative materials, to fusion energy and so much more.

But we must also recognize that AI poses monstrously complex challenges. Even top AI developers will admit they don’t have a firm grip on how this technology works now, and even less of a grip on how it will work in the future.

One of the topics that has come up in my discussions with experts is “explainability,” or the challenge of making AI’s black box inner workings understandable. Even this is no trivial matter, it is a cutting-edge technological research question, and it will require immense cooperation between legislators, developers, researchers, academics, and advocates to strike the right balance.

I hope all my colleagues join for the next two AI briefings next work period, where we’ll examine where this technology is headed in the near future and get briefed in the SCIF on the national security threats that AI already poses.

So again, thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are already getting to work on this issue, both on their own and in committee. The range of proposals shows the Senate is taking this matter seriously. And thank you again to Senators Rounds, Heinrich, and Young for making these briefings possible.