WASHINGTON — A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation to create a national commission to guide America’s artificial intelligence investments.
The language was introduced Wednesday by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev, a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
The senators designed the legislation to complement language introduced in the House by Rep. Elise Stefanik, chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.
The core of the bill would establish a National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence to provide recommendations on growing the artificial intelligence industry within the U.S.
As part of that process, such a commission would complete a yearly report looking at AI through the lens of national security, economic security, public-private partnerships and investment.
The commission would have 15 members appointed by Congress and executive branch leaders from the fields of defense, commerce, science and intelligence.
It would also provide suggestions “maintaining a technological advantage, developments in foreign investments in AI, how to recruit leading talent in AI and STEM fields, and the risks associated with U.S., foreign countries, and non-state actors’ advances in the military employment of AI,” per an announcement.
“Our nation has made extraordinary advancements in technology in the 21st century, and we must ensure the United States is prepared to take advantage of the next major technological boon: artificial intelligence,” Ernst said in a statement.
Added Cortez Masto: “The commission proposed in this bill will provide guidance on how we cultivate AI to help ensure we stay ahead of countries like China in this space, while also building guardrails to make certain the U.S. government responsibly uses AI.”
Experts such as former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, now with the Center for a New American Security, have argued it is time for the U.S. to develop a national push on AI, given major investments by China and Russia.
And the Pentagon is in the process of setting up an AI center of excellence, which would house and organize the nearly 600 AI-related projects underway.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.