Sen. Mike Rounds is urging federal regulators to wait for Congress to take action before implementing regulations on artificial intelligence (AI). However, President Biden’s administration is preparing to sign an executive order to address the risks associated with AI.
This request for patience from Senator Rounds is likely to cause tension between lawmakers and regulators, especially since officials anticipate President Biden signing the executive order on AI in the coming months.
The disagreement between Congress and the Biden administration over who should set America’s AI policy became evident during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that examined the impact of AI on financial services.
Senator Rounds emphasized the need for regulations to not hinder innovation, as doing so may allow China to dominate the emerging tech market. He believes that financial regulators should let Congress take the lead and refrain from overregulating new AI technology to avoid unintended consequences.
President Biden has already expressed his intention to take executive action on AI.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is also preparing for President Biden to sign an AI executive order later this year. The agency’s director, Jen Easterly, emphasized the role of AI in cybersecurity but expressed skepticism about the value of generative AI tools for cyber defense.
The potential impact of AI tools on national security and the financial sector has raised concerns on Capitol Hill. Both the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have focused on the risks posed by new AI tools.
Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown, emphasized the importance of not disregarding the AI transformation of the American economy, particularly in the financial sector. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, expressed concerns about AI fueling market manipulation.
Policy makers are working to keep up with the rapidly increasing accessibility and commercial utility of AI tools. President Biden’s administration has been collaborating with leading AI companies on safety issues and plans to take further executive action this year.
Congress, however, is proceeding at a slower pace and it is unlikely that a vote on AI legislation will take place this year.