Senators to introduce bipartisan AI bill aimed at keeping pace with China

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators will introduce legislation Thursday to manage the rise of artificial intelligence and its use by U.S. adversaries.

The new bill comes as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., has promised to make the fight against AI a priority and members of both parties are eyeing Big Tech, and l in particular, as key axes of this Congress.

The Global Technology Leadership Act would establish an office that would analyze the country’s competitiveness in critical technologies like AI against rivals such as China, according to text of the bill shared exclusively with NBC News. The federal entity — named the Global Competitive Analysis Bureau — would be made up of experts from the intelligence community, the Pentagon and other relevant agencies who use both private sector and intelligence business data to perform these assessments. A summary of the legislation notes that “although the Department of Defense assesses how our battleships, tanks and aircraft compare to other nations, there is no equivalent process for critical technologies” as the AI.

The authors of the legislation argue that the creation of the office would strengthen American competitiveness, inform decision-makers and strengthen American leadership in strategic innovation.

“There is no one – and I say this with certainty – no one in the federal government who can tell us how – or frankly in the United States of America really – who can tell us how the United States compares to China in critical situations with technologies like AI,” Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., told NBC News in an interview.

“The point of all of this is to ensure that we can assess our technological leadership against other countries and inform the appropriate policy response so that we are no longer taken by surprise as we have been with 5G.” , he added.

Bennet tops the list, along with bipartisan co-sponsors Sens. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Mark Warner, D-Va. The new legislation falls under the purview of the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Warner, and its introduction comes as Schumer has publicly stated that preparing for an AI-defined future and getting ahead of the Chinese government are two of his top priorities. This year.

Schumer sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to Young with the senses on Tuesday. Mike Rounds, RS.D., and Martin Heinrich, DN.M, outlining three Senators-only AI briefings that will be held over the summer. The latest, which focuses on adversaries’ use of AI, will be the first-ever classified briefing for all senators on AI, Schumer said.

“I urge all of my colleagues to attend these briefings because it won’t be long before we see the dramatic changes in AI in the workplace, in the classroom, in our living rooms and in virtually every corner of our lives. “, said the leader on the floor of the Senate this week. “It’s already starting to happen. We must be ready.

Members of the upper house have pointed out that Schumer has a keen interest in AI, and the leader himself told reporters in April that he broached the subject during a meeting with Elon Musk on Capitol Hill. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, whose company developed ChatGPT, also met with members of Congress and testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bennet told NBC News his team discussed his Global Technology Leadership Act with Schumer’s team, and the Colorado Democrat believes his bill “has a real shot.”

“I’m really excited about his efforts to legislate around our competition with China this year,” Bennet said of Schumer. “It’s separate but related to the work he’s doing in a bipartisan way to educate the caucus on AI. And so I think all of those things go together well and I expect and hope that if we do moving the legislation along the lines suggested by Senator Schumer would be a fundamental part of what we are trying to do.

Schumer has also met with Rounds, Young and Heinrich in the past about their emerging bipartisan group focused on comprehensive AI legislation, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Bennet noted that AI and competition with China are issues ripe for bipartisan support.

When asked to predict the chances of his legislation becoming law, Bennet replied, “I think there is a high probability of success.”

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