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As A.I. Booms, Lawmakers Struggle to Understand the Technology

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An avatar powered by artificial intelligence at an A.I. conference in New York.

Representative Donald S. Beyer Jr., who recently began taking evening college classes on A.I., said U.S. lawmakers would examine the European bill for ideas on regulation. He added, “This will take time.”

Credit: Justin Lane/EPA/Shutterstock

In recent weeks, two members of Congress have sounded the alarm over the dangers of artificial intelligence.

Representative Ted Lieu, Democrat of California, wrote in a guest essay in The New York Times in January that he was "freaked out" by the ability of the ChatGPT chatbot to mimic human writers. Another Democrat, Representative Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts, gave a one-minute speech — written by a chatbot — calling for regulation of A.I.

But even as lawmakers put a spotlight on the technology, few are taking action on it. No bill has been proposed to protect individuals or thwart the development of A.I.'s potentially dangerous aspects. And legislation introduced in recent years to curb A.I. applications like facial recognition have withered in Congress.

The problem is that most lawmakers do not even know what A.I. is, said Representative Jay Obernolte, a California Republican and the only member of Congress with a master's degree in artificial intelligence.


From The New York Times
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