The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Act would create an independent panel to explore recent advancements in artificial intelligence and assess the economic and national security impacts of the budding technology.
Introduced Tuesday by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who heads the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, the legislation would provide direction for agencies looking to steer the growth of AI in the coming years. With some experts calling artificial intelligence “the biggest economic and technological revolution” of our lifetimes, maintaining an edge in the field could prove critical to America’s position on the world stage.
“Artificial intelligence is a constantly developing technology that will likely touch every aspect of our lives,” Stefanik said in a statement. “It is critical to our national security but also to the development of our broader economy that the United States becomes the global leader in further developing this cutting-edge technology.”
After reviewing the state of artificial intelligence, the commission would submit a series of short- and long-term recommendations on how lawmakers and agencies can responsibly foster the technology’s growth. Among the issues the group will address are how the country can stay competitive in the AI, build a tech-savvy workforce, maintain data privacy standards and develop technologies that comply with international law.
Stefanik said she expects to include the legislation as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2019.
With countries like China continuing to pour resources into artificial intelligence research, lawmakers and technologists worry the U.S is falling behind in the race for global dominance in AI.
The Majority of the House Committee on Armed Services made a statement regarding the Act, outlining its main aims and goals:
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Act of 2018 will create an independent National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, the commission will:
- Conduct a comprehensive and national-level review of advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and associated technologies for the President of the United States and Congress.
- Address and identify the national security needs of the Nation with respect to AI, including economic risk, and other needs for the common defense of the Nation.
- Provide near-term actionable recommendations to the President and the Congress, including ways to more effectively organize the Federal Government for AI.
- Provide annual and actionable recommendations thereafter to our government through 2020.
The Charter and Focus of the Commission Includes Recommendations on:
- Competitiveness: Competitiveness of the U.S. in Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies, related to national security, economic security, public-private partnerships, and investments.
- Technological Advantages: Means and methods for the U.S. to maintain a technological advantage in AI and associated technologies, including quantum sciences and high performance computing.
- Cooperation and Competition: Developments and trends in international cooperation and competition, including foreign investments in AI, machine learning, and associated technologies.
- Investments and Research: Means to foster greater emphasis on investments in basic and advanced research by private, public, academic and combined initiatives.
- Workforce and Education: Incentives to attract, recruit and retain leading talent across our Nation.
- International Law and Ethics: Identify and understand the risks associated with advances in AI under the law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, escalation dynamics, and other ethical considerations related to AI, machine learning, and associated technologies.
- Data and Privacy: Means to establish data standards and open incentives to share data, including the development of privacy- and security-protection measures.