US Senators spearhead AI bill to boost innovation and accountability
The bill would require the Commerce Department to submit a five-year plan for testing and certifying critical-impact AI and to regularly update the plan.
Leading members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Thune (R-SD), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), have introduced the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research, Innovation, and Accountability Act. The bipartisan legislation aims to boost innovation while increasing transparency, accountability, and security for high-risk AI applications.
The proposed bill sets a framework for AI innovation, ensuring greater transparency, accountability, and security with enforceable testing and evaluation standards for high-risk AI systems. Companies using high-risk AI systems would be required to submit transparency reports, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would issue sector-specific recommendations to regulate them.
The legislation also includes provisions for the design, development, identification, and deployment of AI. It aims to provide explicit distinctions between AI-generated content and other labels for AI models, including those considered ‘high impact’ and ‘critical impact’.
Why does it matter?
The bill would require the Commerce Department to submit a five-year plan for testing and certifying critical-impact AI and to regularly update the plan. It would also mandate the NIST to develop guidance for agencies related to ‘high-impact’ AI systems, which the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would then execute. The legislation also instructs the commerce department to form a working group to offer recommendations for a voluntary, industry-led consumer education effort for AI systems.
Klobuchar and Thune’s bill has bipartisan backing from Senate Commerce Committee members, which have jurisdiction over agencies governing AI, such as the NIST. AI is a priority of the Senate in this Congress, essentially due to efforts by Senate Majority Leader Schumer and colleagues to draft legislation that draws broad, bipartisan support. The announcement comes as the Biden-Harris administration recently unveiled a sweeping “executive order on safe, secure, and trustworthy AI”.