SIIA Applauds Senate for Addressing AI

This statement can be attributed to Paul Lekas, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy & Government Affairs, Software & Information Industry Association.

Coming out of the August recess, questions about the right approach to government oversight and regulation of AI are clearly at the forefront of the Senate agenda. The Software & Information Industry Association commends the Senate for addressing AI and we applaud the focus on transparency, high-risk AI and national security.  Regulating AI presents a bevy of hard issues and we encourage the Senate to focus its debate toward actionable legislation.

We believe a solid bipartisan consensus is emerging around key aspects of AI regulation. This came out clearly in Tuesday’s hearings in the Senate.

    • First, high-risk AI systems – those posing a significant risk of harm to people, property, or rights – require guardrails and a degree of government oversight. Identifying gaps in the current legal frameworks and tailoring requirements to fill those gaps is a critical part of crafting robust legislation.
    • Second, public trust and the safety and security of AI systems require further transparency. Voluntary measures, when adopted across industry, can have huge effects for AI safety, security, and trust in the United States and globally, and can be achieved far more rapidly than new laws and regulations. We applaud the White House’s AI Commitments and industry-led efforts such as the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), dedicated to mitigating the risk of AI-driven deepfakes.
    • Third, the AI moment calls for a unique collaboration among government, civil society, academia, and industry. The NIST AI Risk Management Framework reflects this, as does ongoing work of the White House and the Senate AI Insights Forum being led by Senator Schumer. This kind of cooperation will ensure that any needed legislation that emerges will address the proper risks and preserve the ability of U.S. firms to continue their pioneering in the field. The United States is unmatched in its ability to convene leaders from all these domains to advance responsible AI and accountability while ensuring a strong innovation ecosystem.

The AI hearings also lend further urgency to the need for a comprehensive federal privacy law. AI technologies are built on data, and AI guardrails, to be effective, must have a solid foundation to build upon. That foundation must be uniform across the country, else the privacy patchwork that currently challenges consumers and businesses will become increasingly unworkable with AI regulation laid on top.

We look forward to continuing the productive discussions we’ve had with Senate staff on our Blueprint for Government Oversight and Regulation of AI that recommends the government establish guidelines and tailored requirements for AI systems that pose significant safety and rights concerns. Advancing AI innovation, enhancing government adoption and fostering strong public-private collaboration to effectively address the multifaceted challenges and opportunities presented by AI are critical to ensure we implement AI in a positive and safe way.

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