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Congress Taking Bipartisan Steps on AI

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), unveiled a detailed report that outlines how Congress should approach AI regulation. 

The "roadmap," co-authored by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Todd Young (R-IN), aims to guide legislative proposals, maintain U.S. competitiveness in AI, and demonstrate the technology's benefits. 

Workforce implications: The Working Group encouraged lawmakers pursuing AI legislation to: 

  • Stem fields: Consider legislation that enhances the U.S. immigration system for high-skilled STEM workers aimed at bolstering national security and promoting advancements in AI across all sectors of society. 

  • But also: DOL already issued a request for information seeking feedback on easing employers’ ability to hire global talent in STEM occupations. The Association submitted comments, urging DOL to pursue these enhancements to STEM hiring. 

  • Broad stakeholder input: Make efforts to involve a wide range of stakeholders—"including innovators, employers, civil society, unions, and other workforce representatives” —in the development and subsequent deployment of AI by end users.

  • Training/Upskilling: Create laws aimed at training, retraining, and upskilling the private sector workforce for an AI-driven economy. This legislation may offer incentives for companies to devise strategies that incorporate new technologies and reskilled workers, and incentives for both blue-collar and white-collar workers to seek retraining through community colleges and universities.

  • Work Impact: Investigate the consequences and potential solutions (including best practices from the private sector) to address the effects of AI on the long-term future of work, particularly as more advanced general-purpose AI systems emerge that could replace human workers. This includes developing a suitable policy framework to respond to these challenges and identifying strategies to mitigate disruptive workforce displacement.

Chances for Senate action: Passing AI legislation before year-end is a shared bipartisan objective, but with limited chances for floor action and the upcoming election, time is quickly diminishing. In addition, recent news articles describe skepticism on the part of consumer groups who view the report’s lack of specific strategies as evidence that Congress is unlikely pass meaningful legislation. 

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Authors: Chatrane Birbal

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