WASHINGTON — One way to get Congress to support regulating artificial intelligence is by using it to write a resolution calling for just that.
At least, that’s what Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., hopes. He's introducing a nonbinding measure Thursday that would direct the House to take a look at artificial intelligence, a bill that was written entirely by the online AI chatbot ChatGPT.
Using a simple prompt, Lieu was able to generate a standard congressional resolution. It read: “You are Congressman Ted Lieu. Write a comprehensive congressional resolution generally expressing support for Congress to focus on AI.”
The resolution doesn’t specify that it was written using artificial intelligence.
Acknowledging the potential positive impacts of artificial intelligence, Lieu’s resolution specifically outlines Congress’ “responsibility to ensure that the development and deployment of AI is done in a way that is safe, ethical, and respects the rights and privacy of all Americans.”
Lieu is also pushing for Congress to establish a nonpartisan commission that would provide recommendations about how to regulate AI.
“The rapid advancements in AI technology have made it clear that the time to act is now to ensure that AI is used in ways that are safe, ethical and beneficial for society,” ChatGPT wrote in an op-ed Lieu published in The New York Times this week. “Failure to do so could lead to a future where the risks of AI far outweigh its benefits.”
The rise of artificial intelligence and tools like ChatGPT is already raising concerns about cheating in the classroom, but Lieu, who is one of a handful of members of Congress with technology backgrounds, wrote in his Times op-ed that some of the harm associated with AI could even be “deadly.”
“As one of just three members of Congress with a computer science degree, I am enthralled by A.I. and excited about the incredible ways it will continue to advance society. And as a member of Congress, I am freaked out by A.I., specifically A.I. that is left unchecked and unregulated,” he wrote.
Lieu isn’t the first member of Congress to have brought artificial intelligence to the House chamber. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., 34, delivered a speech Wednesday on the House floor written by Chat GPT. Auchincloss said he wants to spotlight the issue for Congress “so that we have a debate now about purposeful policy for AI, and not be 10 years behind the ball like I think a lot of policy was for social media.”
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Tuesday that all members of the House Intelligence Committee will take courses in AI and Quantum, the same training military generals receive, McCarthy noted. “We want to be able to speak of making sure our country and the national security is protected.”
Asked whether Congress needs to learn how to, at the very least, understand the technology, the Senate’s No. 3 Republican, John Thune, R-S.D., said it could have serious implications.
“I have my own challenges with basic intelligence,” Thune quipped. “But certainly, I think we need to understand it.”