Hickenlooper urges regulation as Congress holds artificial intelligence hearings

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Posted at 9:49 PM, Sep 12, 2023

WASHINGTON D.C. — Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper (D) called for more federal standards for artificial intelligence (AI) during a congressional hearing on the technology Tuesday.

AI is becoming a more prominent part of our daily lives. The technology is used in our phones, cars, as well as the content we consume online. It also became more consumer-friendly with the recent introduction of ChatGPT.

There are no regulations for the companies that create AI technology or how consumers use it.

“We must also confront that AI can be misused by bad actors. AI can be used to make scams, fraud and cyberattacks,” Hickenlooper said during the hearing. “Companies developing and deploying AI have a role to build a safe, secure and reliable system that, overtime, will win the trust of the public.”

Tuesday's hearing was one of three taking place this week.

The subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security heard from witnesses about AI transparency and what consumers would need to build trust in AI.

There are real concerns about data privacy, the ability to identify AI-generated content and how to work with law enforcement to prosecute crimes that use the technology. Hickenlooper said the federal government, academia and private companies need to work together to create those regulations now before we get left behind.

At a different Senate hearing on regulating Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft President Brad Smith testified that AI is already being implemented in certain industries.

“Wendy’s announced they were starting to consider automating with AI in the drive-thru. There is a lesson it should give us pause but optimism,” Smith said.

But that optimism raised concerns from some senators about how quickly AI could replace workers.

“What worries me, to be honest, is oftentimes from the tech sector we hear is that jobs that don’t have creativity don’t have value. I’m frankly scared to death that AI will replace lots of jobs that tech types think aren’t creative but will leave more blue collar workers with nowhere to turn,” Missouri Senator Josh Hawley (R) said.

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