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Andrew Zhang

A ‘fighting chance’: Sen. Todd Young finds optimism on AI on the Hill

Todd Young is a lead proponent in pushing the upper chamber towards regulating AI. | Rod Lamkey for POLITICO

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) on Wednesday said the current Congress has a shot to pass legislation regulating artificial intelligence — even as he works to ensure lawmakers know what the technology does.

“I think we've got a fighting chance to get it done,” Young said at POLITICO’s AI & Tech Summit. “I think it's very likely that we'll pass at least some narrow pieces of an AI regulatory regime.”

Young said any AI legislation will likely be tailored to how the technology is used.

“We probably ought not be super concerned about the use of artificial intelligence for certain entertainment purposes,” he said. “But we should be more concerned — I suspect, just to generalize here — about the autonomous use, which is much discussed, of weapons by our military in the future."

Young is a lead proponent in pushing the upper chamber towards regulating AI. He underscored that the Senate is still in an "education stage" as he works to help his colleagues understand how AI and other new technologies work before hardcore legislation writing begins.

The Indiana senator praised Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for working with him on his efforts to help the Senate understand AI.

“One of the things I've found with Chuck is he’s very canny, very straightforward,” Young said. “If you set clear expectations with him and he can buy into those expectations, and vice versa, if we're very clear with one another about how we're going to move forward, then you don't have any problems.”

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