May 23, 2024
Over 20 AI leaders, including Marc Andreessen, will appear at 2nd Senate AI Insight Forum tomorrow


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Twenty-one AI leaders will appear tomorrow at the 2nd Senate AI Insight Forum. The event comes over a month after what was supposed to be the first of nine forums in which all 100 senators have the opportunity to get a crash course on a variety of issues related to AI, including copyright, workforce issues, national security, high risk AI models, existential risks, privacy, transparency and explainability, and elections and democracy. The bipartisan forums are led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) with Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) 

At tomorrow’s forum, which will focus on “transformational innovation that pushes the boundaries of medicine, energy, and science, and the sustainable innovation necessary to drive advancements in security, accountability, and transparency in AI,” according to a press release provided by Sen. Schumer’s office.

Senators will hear from, among others, Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz (just a week after publishing his Techno-Optimist Manifesto); Aidan Gomez, CEO of Cohere; Stella Biderman, executive director of EleutherAI; Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP; Max Tegmark, the president of the Effective Altruism-funded Future of Life Institute; and former White House technology advisors Alondra Nelson, professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, and Suresh Venkatasubramanian, professor at Brown University.

First AI Insight Forum was over a month ago

The first forum on September 13 was a closed-door event — which drew criticism for a lack of press access. According to Tech Policy Press, the second forum “coincides with the announcement of a new bill, called the Artificial Intelligence Advancement Act of 2023 (S. 3050). Introduced in the Senate last Tuesday, the proposed legislation is sponsored by the AI Forums’ “Gang of Four” – Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) – and would establish a bug bounty program as well as require reports and analyses on data sharing and coordination, artificial intelligence regulation in the financial sector, and AI-enabled military applications.”

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Originally, Senator Schumer had said that the AI Insight Forums would be conducted in September and October of this year,  but now it looks like they will take considerably longer — which doesn’t bode well for a speedy route to federal AI regulation in the US. At the first AI Insight Forum, Schumer said: ““In past situations when things were this difficult, the natural reaction of a Senate or a House was to ignore the problem and let someone else do the job. But with AI we can’t be like ostriches sticking our heads in the sand. Only Congress can do the job, and if we wait until after AI has taken hold in society, it will have been too late.”

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