Congress Must Take Decisive Action to Address AI Risks

Washington, DC – Last week, the Senate Bipartisan AI Working Group released a report, “Driving U.S. Innovation in Artificial Intelligence: A Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Policy in the United States Senate,” unveiling a framework to address innovation and risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. In response, Laura MacCleery, Senior Policy Director at UnidosUS issued the following statement:

“The Senate AI Roadmap takes some encouraging steps by acknowledging critical risks around privacy, bias and accountability that experts have warned about for years. However, after a year of work, mere acknowledgment is not enough. Our communities must see Congress take decisive action to address AI risks.

“The release of the Roadmap occurred the same week as major product announcements from multiple industry giants, further highlighting the need for swift and responsive action from lawmakers. The Roadmap makes clear that there are essential areas of bipartisan agreement, including: privacy and data minimization, stakeholder participation in shaping guardrails, safeguarding election integrity, disparate impact audits, and creating liability for harms caused by AI. Now we need new legislation to address these areas as well as other major gaps left out of the Roadmap, including on civil liberties.

“The Roadmap’s emphasis on investments in AI innovation risks hyper-powering the technology, unless these investments are accompanied by similar resources in robust guardrails to ensure equitable and responsible use. Building community capacity to co-lead the governance of AI and to reap equal benefits from technology cannot be treated as an afterthought. It must be at the heart of any national AI strategy.

“Executing on the Roadmap and work over the prior year should mean urgent Congressional movement to enact pending AI legislation, including comprehensive federal data privacy reform and a suite of AI and elections bills. In areas such as hiring, lending, healthcare, immigration, and criminal justice, lawmakers must now demonstrate leadership by delivering on additional needed legislative solutions to keep technology accountable, transparent and safe. Our communities are counting on Congress to center people and create strong rules of the road for responsible AI as we build a technology future that can work for everyone.”