Congress to hold new AI hearings as it works to craft safeguards

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Congress next week will hold three hearings on artificial intelligence, including one with Microsoft President Brad Smith and Nvidia chief scientist William Daly as Congress works on legislation to mitigate the dangers of the emerging technology.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee is holding a hearing on Tuesday titled “Oversight of AI: Legislating on Artificial Intelligence."

"Top industry executives and leading experts will help us shape legislation to protect against AI harms," Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who chairs the panel, said on Friday.

Blumenthal and the top Republican on the panel, Josh Hawley, on Friday released a draft of a bipartisan legislative framework to establish guardrails for artificial intelligence that would lay out "specific principles for upcoming legislative efforts, including the establishment of an independent oversight body, ensuring legal accountability for harms, defending national security, promoting transparency, and protecting consumers and kids."

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will separately host tech leaders and experts at a Wednesday AI forum including Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

A House Oversight subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday that will look at potential risks in federal agency adoption of AI along with the adequacy of safeguards to protect individual privacy and ensure fair treatment.

Witnesses include White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhaker along with the Pentagon's chief digital and artificial intelligence officer Craig Martell and Homeland Security Department's Chief Information Officer Eric Hysen.

"The federal government must harness the incredible potential of AI to achieve its various missions more effectively and efficiently," said Representative Nancy Mace, a Republican who chairs the subcommittee. "However, it is critical that before we let the genie out of the bottle we understand the unique risks of inappropriate use of AI by the federal government."

A Senate Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday on the "Need for Transparency in Artificial Intelligence” that will include Victoria Espinel, CEO of BSA/The Software Alliance and Rob Strayer, executive vice president for policy at the Information Technology Industry Council.

(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Bill Berkrot)