US Senators to have classified AI briefing at the White House

Senators in the United States will be briefed by the White House regarding artificial intelligence (AI) as lawmakers continue to mull over regulations for the technology. 

In a letter sent to fellow senators by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on July 9, he announced the “first-ever” classified Senate briefing on AI with the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community.

According to the letter, the meeting will focus on how the U.S. government is currently, “using and investing in AI to protect our national security and learn what our adversaries are doing in AI.”

The meeting will take place on July 11 in a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Schumer also highlighted that in the coming months, the Senate will hold a series of “AI Insight Forums” and convene with top AI experts in the industry building on the briefings. 

“Our job as legislators is to listen to the experts and learn as much as we can so we can translate these ideas into legislative action, with our committees continuing to serve as the key drivers.”

The first brief is said to be led by Avril Haines, the director of National Intelligence, Kathleen Hicks the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Trey Whitworth the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy director Arati Prabhakar.  

Related: US President Joe Biden urges tech firms to address risks of AI

Schumer also said he intends to continue building upon his proposed outline, which he calls SAFE: Innovation Framework for AI. 

SAFE is supposed to guide the Senate as to how it “can advance American leadership in AI,” while harnessing its potential and protecting society from potential harm.

The senator has made calls in the past for “comprehensive legislation” on AI.

Schumer was also a part of a proposal of a bipartisan bill regarding transparency and innovation in AI development, along with calling for the formation of a new Office of Global Competition Analysis to allow the government to stay on top of global AI trends.

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