AI Regulation Is Coming To The U.S., Albeit Slowly.
By Robert Seamans
On June 20th, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill to create a commission focused on regulation of artificial intelligence (AI). Text for the bill, which is currently named the “National AI Commission Act,” is available here. According to the authors of the bill, Representatives Ted Lieu (D-California), Ken Buck (R-Colorado) and Anna Eshoo (D-California), the commission’s goal would be to “review the United States’ current approach to AI regulation, make recommendations on any new office or governmental structure that may be necessary, and develop a risk-based framework for AI.” Given the recent, rapid advances in AI, and various calls for AI regulation, a bill creating a commission to conduct reviews may appear tepid. However, there are several merits to the approach.
The bill's attempt to be bipartisan is noteworthy. According to the current text of the bill, the commission would be a bipartisan group of legislators and members of industry and civil society. It proposes three members each from the Democratic members of Congress, Republican members of Congress, Democratic members of Senate and Republican members of Senate. An additional eight members will be chosen by the President, where the eight members come from lists generated by those four groups, and where the mix is bipartisan. The bipartisan makeup of the commission is notable because it increases the probability that any recommendations from the commission are enacted.
The commission would be tasked with considering how AI regulation might both (1) mitigate risks and harms of AI and (2) protect the United States’ “leadership in artificial intelligence innovation and the opportunities such innovation may bring.” Balancing between these two considerations would mean developing a comprehensive regulatory approach that acknowledges the importance of addressing potential drawbacks while harnessing the transformative power of AI for societal and economic benefits. The commission would also review the different ways that existing agencies regulate or otherwise conduct oversight of AI. These tasks would help the commission determine whether a stand-alone AI regulatory agency is needed, or whether AI regulation is best left to existing agencies. The two approaches have been the subject of some debate between companies such as Open AI and Google.
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Robert Seamans is Associate Professor of Management and Organizations and Director of the Center for the Future of Management