Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s upcoming AI Insight Forum. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
This Wednesday, I will join with Senators Rounds, Young, and Heinrich in hosting one of the most important meetings Congress has held in years, as we welcome the top minds in AI for the Senate’s first-ever AI Insight Forum.
Our Inaugural Forum will convene leaders from business, civil rights, defense, research, labor, the arts, and more, all for a candid debate about how Congress can tackle both AI’s opportunities and AI’s challenges.
These forums will provide the nutrient agar, the basis of knowledge and insights essential for our committees to draft smart and effective legislation. Wednesday’s inaugural forum can be boiled down to three words: bipartisan, diverse, and above all, balanced.
We’ll have AI advocates and critics, CEOs and unions, leading experts and researchers, all together in one room, talking about where Congress should start, what questions to ask, and how to build consensus for SAFE innovation.
We’ll need every sector of the workforce, every side of the political spectrum all part of the process if we are to succeed. I’m proud that the participants for the first forum achieves that balance really well.
That’s what any action on AI must be: balanced and bipartisan. Balanced, in a way that gives everyone a seat at the table, and prioritizes both innovation – the kind of transformational innovation that AI can bring, whether it’s curing disease or improving education or making businesses more efficient or protecting our security. But, there’s also innovation in keeping guardrails, the kind of essential innovation that is needed to prevent AI from going off track and we might lose it all.
And bipartisan, because if AI becomes a partisan issue, it will paralyze any chance for progress. So I am glad that the Senate’s interest in AI has been decidedly bipartisan.
As I’ve said, these forums will be vital for helping our committees do the real legislative work of drafting AI policy. They will provide the nutrient agar to help committees draft smart and effective legislation.
And the good news is many of the committees are already hard at work on this issue, in a truly bipartisan way. I believe our meeting has increased the interest of committees to do work here, but it’s also made clear that we cannot run away from this issue and put our heads in the sand like ostriches, even though the issue is so difficult and changing and wide-reaching. I want to thank Senators Rounds, Heinrich, and Young, as well as committee chairs and ranking members, for their work thus far on AI.
Our subcommittees and committees have already held no fewer than nine hearings on to AI this year, on issues like national security, intellectual property, human rights, and more. This week, the Commerce Committee, the Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee and Judiciary Committee are scheduled to hold more hearings on AI transparency and oversight, which is just what our Insight Forums are intended to promote.
I am hopeful that our AI Insight Forums will supercharge the work already happening in the Senate, by bringing outside voices to give their insights, their expertise, and their perspectives on how Congress can best proceed. So once again, I thank Senators Rounds, Heinrich, and Young for helping organize this Inaugural Forum, and I encourage ALL Senators to attend our forum on Wednesday.