Lawmakers Launch New Task Force

Lawmakers Launch New Task Force

( – For months, the US Senate has held several high-profile forums regarding the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). For example, several Big Tech heads recently met with all 100 senators at a private gathering late last year to discuss AI’s rise. Attendees included Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The House recently announced its plan to join the national debate by establishing a new bipartisan task force.

On February 20, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) issued a press release discussing the launch of a task force on AI. Johnson and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) formally announced its formation.

The two leaders said the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence would “explore” ways lawmakers can develop “guardrails… to safeguard the nation against current and emerging threats” related to AI. The panel will also discuss ways Congress can support American tech companies’ role as the world’s leader in AI innovation.

In a rare move in the current political climate, Johnson and Jeffries each appointed 12 members to serve on the task force. Both men structured their appointees to represent “key committees of jurisdiction” overseeing AI-related matters.

Representatives Jay Obernolte (R-CA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) will co-chair the task force. Obernolte heads the Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Lieu serves on the House Judiciary Committee and its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.

Johnson praised the bipartisan effort to play a leading role “in this strategic arena.” He noted that recent advancements surrounding AI “have the potential to rapidly transform” America’s economy and society. He also stressed the importance of lawmakers working in a “bipartisan manner” to address the “complexities [surrounding] this transformative technology.”

Jeffries echoed that sentiment. Like Johnson, he discussed the importance of Congress’ role in safely facilitating the “promising breakthroughs that [AI] can bring to fruition.” He also noted the need to ensure that Americans “benefit from [those] advancements” in a balanced and fair manner.

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