What type of AI expertise do politicians need to regulate AI?

US lawmakers are striving to understand and regulate artificial intelligence (AI) as the technology rapidly evolves. Representative Ted Lieu believes that legislators do not need to be computer science experts to make decisions on AI-related matters.

Image of US Congress and AI Regulation

US Congress lawmakers do not need to be computer science experts to make informed decisions on AI, stated Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), one of four Members of Congress with a computer science degree. Lieu proposes the creation of a blue-ribbon commission to study AI and provide guidance for regulation. Representatives Ken Buck and Anna Eshoo are co-sponsors of bill H.R. 4223, for the establishment of such a commission.

In building evidence, the US Congress has been hosting numerous forums with tech executives and experts to explore the effects of AI on national security, privacy, and copyrights, with resulting legislation expected next year.

Rather than crafting explicit regulations, Lieu suggests that lawmakers should establish standards and principles, leaving implementation to federal agencies, drawing parallels with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Some regulations do not need to wait for the blue-ribbon commission, such as the use of autonomous nuclear weapons by the US military and banning AI-generated deepfakes in political elections.

AI regulation enjoys bipartisan support in the US politics.