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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Today’s Senators-Only Briefing On Artificial Intelligence

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

AI, Artificial Intelligence, is unlike any innovation that has previously come to the attention of Congress. In a few years, this technology will usher in dramatic changes to the workplace, the classroom, our living rooms – to virtually every corner of life. And it is already starting to happen.

Maximizing AI’s benefits – and mitigating its potential and very real risks – will require bipartisan cooperation, focus, and speed from the U.S. Congress.

Today, the U.S. Senate is taking an important step in intensifying our focus on AI by holding the first all-Senators briefings solely dedicated to AI. More briefings will soon follow, and they will help lay a bipartisan foundation on which Congress can take appropriate action.

These briefings are vital, because elected representatives in 2023 cannot afford to be in the dark about how AI works and how it is going to reshape our world – and how it is already reshaping our world for that matter.

Today’s briefing will focus on the state of AI as it stands today: its capabilities, its applications, its limitations, and its challenges. We will hear from Professor Antonio Torralba of MIT, an expert in machine learning and the head MIT faculty member on AI and decision-making. He's the head of AI at MIT. It's pretty good stuff. People should come.

Next month, our second and third briefings will focus on where AI is headed in the very near future and AI’s implications to our national security.

I urge every single Senator to join all these briefings. AI is a topic none of us can afford to ignore; it should be treated with the same urgency as national security, job creation, and civil liberties – because AI will impact all these issues and many others.

The possibilities of AI should excite every single one of us – if used correctly, AI could unlock remarkable breakthroughs in health care, scientific research, national security, and so many other fields. Much like we did in CHIPS and Science, Congress should look for ways to promote innovation in AI so that American companies can lead the way.

But the top AI developers have also made clear Congress must play a role in safeguarding against AI’s many potential risks. They’ve said it to us directly through Congressional testimony.

We must therefore strike a balance: promote innovation and growth on the one hand, while mitigating AI’s risks on the other. That will take a lot of bipartisan cooperation, and these briefings will help us move closer to that goal.

Finally, I want to thank my colleagues for the good work they’ve already done on the issue, and I want to especially thank Senators Rounds, Heinrich, and Young for helping make all these Senate briefings possible.