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Speaker Johnson launches bipartisan artificial intelligence ‘task force’

House Speaker Mike Johnson is putting together a formal ‘task force’ to explore how the U.S. can stay competitive in the artificial intelligence (AI) sphere while also managing the rapidly evolving technology’s risks.

‘Because advancements in artificial intelligence have the potential to rapidly transform our economy and our society, it is important for Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to understand and plan for both the promises and the complexities of this transformative technology,’ Johnson, R-La., said in a Monday morning statement. 

The new project is bipartisan, having been the product of discussions between Johnson and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

Johnson said the task force would be made up of House lawmakers who have ‘AI expertise and represent the relevant committees of jurisdiction.’

‘Congress has a responsibility to facilitate the promising breakthroughs that artificial intelligence can bring to fruition and ensure that everyday Americans benefit from these advancements in an equitable manner,’ Jeffries said. ‘The rise of artificial intelligence also presents a unique set of challenges and certain guardrails must be put in place to protect the American people.’

The group’s co-chairs are members who have been some of the most vocal about AI – Rep. Jay Obernolte, R-Calif., the oversight subcommittee chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who sits on the House Judiciary Committee’s internet subcommittee.

Both Obernolte and Lieu are also members of the House’s AI Caucus. 

Johnson has not yet laid out a clear strategy on how he wants to handle AI, but he has taken strides to wrap his head around the issue since taking the speaker’s gavel in October. That included a meeting with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman last month, after which Johnson told reporters they ‘talked about where we are with regard to the approach of Congress to AI.’

However, as Congress continues to learn about AI, there appears to be little movement – or agreement – in the legislative sphere. 

A flurry of bills touching on AI issues like deepfakes and intellectual property rights have been introduced over the last year, but none have made it to the House floor for a vote.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s promised AI legislative framework has made little public advancement beyond its announcement late last year. 

There is also still disagreement within Congress about whether to even regulate AI at this stage, or whether regulatory burdens could stifle U.S. innovation in that sphere.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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