Rounds Moderates Historic Forum with Major Tech Leaders
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and the bipartisan Artificial Intelligence (AI) working group hosted a first-of-its-kind discussion regarding how Congress should approach the opportunities and risks posed by AI. The AI Insight Forum, moderated by Rounds and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), featured top tech leaders, including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Click HERE for a full list of participants.
“Not long ago, most of the companies represented in this room were startups, and many of them are run by people who chose to make America home,” said Rounds in his opening statement. “The magnitude of the technological shift we find ourselves in with AI has led to many calls to undertake a new Manhattan-like project.”
Rounds continued, “This endeavor will require us to adapt, and while the allure of simple solutions to complex problems are powerful, we must keep those key principles at the forefront of our decision-making. This is a country that believes in freedom, quality of life and the rule of law. We are driven to build a more secure and prosperous future for our children.”
Over the past several months, the bipartisan AI working group facilitated briefings to expand the Senate’s knowledge on AI. In addition to Rounds and Schumer, the working group is comprised of Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.). Click HERE to download photos from the forum.
Read Rounds’ full remarks below, as prepared for delivery.
First, I’d like to thank the panelists who took the time out of their busy schedules to come meet with us today.
This truly is a special and unique gathering of the leading minds and practitioners in AI.
I’d like to thank Leader Schumer and Senators Young and Heinrich for working in such a bipartisan manner to help organize the Insight Forums.
Today, we stand at the beginning of a journey of monumental change. While Artificial Intelligence has been around in various forms for years, recent advances in the most cutting-edge models have shown us just how capable the technology has become.
Thanks to these advancements, you would have a hard time determining whether this speech was created with a generative model – it was not – and soon the same might be said for any photo or video that you encounter online.
The trust that forms the foundation of society can be felt shifting under our feet as we begin to wonder if seeing is truly believing.
We know that AI is leading to significant changes across our society, our economy and our military.
Exactly how and when, and what role Congress should play, is a matter of debate – one we’ll be having at this and coming Insight Forums.
In the face of such dramatic change, we should move forward by adopting key principles that are important to all Americans and continue to apply them to AI, or any other disruption that follows.
Congress should help shepherd the development of American AI – artificial intelligence that is embodied with the key principles to promote confidence and trust – principles like privacy and transparency, while continuing to be a birthplace for new innovation in this field.
And while the technology is important, our greatest treasure are the people that choose to call this country home.
Not long ago, most of the companies represented in this room were startups, and many of them are run by people who chose to make America home. The magnitude of the technological shift we find ourselves in with AI has led to many calls to undertake a new Manhattan-like project.
Ask yourself, would we have had a Manhattan project if our country had not allowed Albert Einstein and other scientists to call America home?
Where would the American AI industry be today without the individuals present in this room who have pioneered recent breakthroughs or who have come to this country to build an AI company?
America won World War II thanks to the sacrifices made by millions of brave men and women, but that success was far from assured.
Technology played a major role in securing that success, and the future of the free world.
Artificial Intelligence will be one of the main tools of the modern warfighter, and America needs to lead in AI to make sure that our warriors have every advantage.
We never want our men and women in uniform to be in a fair fight, we always want them to have the upper hand. AI is going to be a part of that advantage. It NEEDS to be a part of that advantage – every single time.
This endeavor will require us to adapt, and while the allure of simple solutions to complex problems are powerful, we must keep those key principles at the forefront of our decision-making.
This is a country that believes in freedom, quality of life and the rule of law. We are driven to build a more secure and prosperous future for our children.
Today, we’ll hear from notable entrepreneurs and civil society advocates, working to find areas of consensus that will help show a pathway for AI governance for Congress to consider as we promote and enhance the quality of life for all Americans.
Winston Churchill famously observed that, Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else.
Let’s prove him wrong and show that when it comes to AI that America can get it right from the start.
With that, thank you again.
Leader Schumer, I turn it back over to you.