Sen. Schumer introduces AI policy framework, calls for ‘comprehensive legislation’

Called the "Safe Innovation Framework for AI Policy," Schumer's plan outlines ways to "protect, expand, and harness AI’s potential” as Congress pursues legislation.
Sen. Chuck Schumer
Sen. Charles Schumer (Senate Democrats / Flickr)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday introduced a plan to develop comprehensive legislation in Congress to regulate and advance the development of artificial intelligence in the U.S.

New York Democrat Schumer’s plan, called the “Safe Innovation Framework for AI Policy,” outlines ways to “protect, expand, and harness AI’s potential” as Congress pursues legislation, his office said.

In a keynote speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Schumer said there is “no choice but to acknowledge that AI’s changes are coming,” and pointed out the need for a strategy to support innovation.

He also highlighted the role of the federal government in AI regulation.


“How much federal intervention on the tax side and on the spending side must there be? Is federal intervention to encourage innovation necessary at all? Or should we just let the private sector develop on its own?” Schumer questioned during his remarks.

At the same time, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. and Ken Buck, R-Colo., introduced legislation Tuesday that would create a blue-ribbon commission on artificial intelligence to develop a comprehensive framework for the regulation of the emerging technology.

The bicameral National AI Commission Act would create a 20-member commission to explore AI regulation, including how regulation responsibility is distributed across agencies, the capacity of agencies to address challenges relating to regulation, and alignment among agencies in their enforcement actions. 

“We must come up with a plan that encourages — not stifles — innovation in this new world of AI, and that means asking some important questions,” Schumer said Wednesday. “We are going to work very hard to come up with comprehensive legislation. Because this is so important, we are going to do everything we can to succeed.”

In April, Schumer met with the CEOs of AI giants like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google to discuss the development and regulation of the technology. 


President Joe Biden and his administration have also expressed commitment to safeguarding Americans’ rights and safety with a focus on protecting user privacy and addressing bias and misinformation in AI. Biden earlier this week met with tech leaders and academics in the AI space in Silicon Valley.

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