Cantwell Bill Promoting Development and Understanding of Artificial Intelligence Passes Commerce Committee

July 22, 2020

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In today’s executive session, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), and Ed Markey (D-MA) that promotes the continued development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The bill, known as the Fundamentally Understanding the Usability and Realistic Evolution of Artificial Intelligence Act of 2020 – or FUTURE of AI Act – establishes a federal advisory committee to examine the economic opportunities and evolving legal framework that AI technologies present and develop recommendations to address its use in many aspects of American life.

Ranking Member Cantwell said during the executive session today, “Today in an era of rapidly evolving technology, it is more important than ever that the U.S. remains a global leader in this sector.”

“Artificial Intelligence has the ability to drastically boost our economy,” said Senator Todd Young. “As Americans continue to interact with this technology every day, and as its capabilities expand, it’s important that we study and prepare for AI’s continued use in our society.”

“It’s clear that artificial intelligence has immense potential and is already transforming our economy and society,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “We cannot be in the dark about how this new technology will impact our workforce, our privacy, and our lives. The FUTURE of AI Act convenes experts to chart a responsible path forward, and I’m pleased to see this legislation advancing in Congress.”

The FUTURE of AI Act directs the Secretary of the Commerce Department to create an advisory committee tasked with submitting recommendations to Congress within 18 months on how the government and business can work together to address artificial intelligence concerns in several key areas including: 

  • Potential growth, restructuring, and other changes for the U.S. workforce that result from adoption of AI, including potential actions to train and skill workers for an AI workplace
  • Protecting the privacy rights of individuals as AI continues to grow
  • Promoting a climate of innovation to ensure global competitiveness for American companies developing AI technologies
  • Supporting the development and application of unbiased AI
  • Examining the use of AI in law enforcement and security

The AI advisory committee will pull from a wide array of business sectors and perspectives. The committee will be comprised of civil liberties groups, labor groups, research institutions and universities, technology companies, the manufacturing sector, data scientists, and federal agency officials, among others.

The section-by-section of the bill can be found HERE.

The full text of the bill can be found HERE.