Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are expressing concerns about China’s potential dominance in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the development of regulations surrounding it. Both Republicans and Democrats are worried that the United States may be giving away its technological advantage to its communist rivals.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 19, 2023
Chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, emphasized the need for the U.S. to establish a commanding lead over China in the AI realm to secure a safe and prosperous future. She warned of the risks associated with not enacting a national data privacy standard, as well as allowing China to lead the way in AI, such as the collection and misuse of data, unauthorized access and transfers, and potential harm to Americans and their families.
Some Democrats also share these concerns. Representative Haley Stevens from Michigan urged American policymakers to recognize China’s progress in AI relative to the U.S. and stressed the importance of American ownership and governance of the technology. She highlighted the need for a risk framework and mitigation strategies.
Not everyone, however, is apprehensive about China’s influence in emerging technologies. Elon Musk, the billionaire tech mogul, has expressed his support for China’s involvement in shaping international AI regulations. He believes that China is ready to cooperate and contribute positively to an international framework for AI regulation.
While Congress is studying legislative proposals, President Biden’s team is preparing to issue an executive order and propose regulations on AI. Federal Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeRusha stated that the executive order, expected to be released in the fall, will be a first step in establishing rules, safeguards, research and development strategies, and talent plans for AI.
Despite these efforts, some lawmakers are cautious about giving complete authority over AI regulation to President Biden’s team or hastily implementing regulations. Representative Jay Obernolte, a Republican from California, warned against rushing into overregulation but also stressed the need for proactive American leadership in setting AI standards and regulations. He emphasized that the U.S. should not allow itself to fall behind other major world powers like the European Union or China, both of whom are taking more stringent approaches to regulating AI.
In conclusion, lawmakers in the House are recognizing the potential threat of China surpassing the U.S. in AI production and regulations. They are calling for American leadership and ownership in the AI realm to protect national interests and ensure a prosperous future.