US Senate News:
Source: United States Senator for Massachusetts Ed Markey
Washington (November 1, 2023) – Following Vice President Kamala Harris’s speech on artificial intelligence (AI) at the U.S. Embassy in London, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-51) applauded Vice President Harris’s commitment to defending civil and privacy rights while adopting an inclusive definition of AI safety, ahead of her attending the UK AI Safety Summit:
“Vice President Harris has clearly articulated that we must act to prevent the full range of harms from AI, including societal harms which are impacting people across the country. Her commitment to defending our civil and privacy rights, and adopting an inclusive definition of AI safety, is a significant step in the right direction. While we navigate the rapidly evolving AI landscape, we need to prioritize the well-being and rights of all people.
“As Vice President Harris emphasized, legislation is urgently needed. Congress must put comprehensive laws on the books to ensure the responsible development, deployment, and regulation of AI, with a strong emphasis on safeguarding privacy, ensuring fairness, and enhancing transparency. Congress bears the responsibility of realizing a vision of AI that serves the public—not profits.”
Yesterday, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Jacobs sent a letter to Vice President Harris urging the Biden-Harris administration to continue promoting the importance of civil rights and democratic values in the governance of AI.
On Monday, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) applauded the Administration for heeding their call to incorporate the White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights into its artificial intelligence Executive Order. In March, Senators Markey and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), along with Congresswoman Jayapal, led their colleagues in reintroducing their Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act to prevent the government from using facial recognition and other biometric technologies, which pose significant privacy and civil liberties issues and disproportionately harm marginalized communities. In July, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-07) reintroduced their Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act to ban discriminatory algorithms and improve transparency on social media platforms. In September, Senator Markey and Congreswoman Jayapal led six of their colleagues in a letter demanding answers from leading U.S. companies developing and deploying AI—Google, OpenAI, Anthropic, Meta, Microsoft, Amazon, Inflection AI, Scale AI, and IBM—on using underpaid and overworked data workers who receive no benefits but keep their companies’ AI products online. In June, he and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.) wrote to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting GAO conduct a detailed technology assessment of the potential harms of generative AI and how to mitigate them.