Sens. Hawley, Blumenthal Release Bipartisan AI Framework

As Congress races to regulate artificial intelligence (AI), Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., released a bipartisan framework for the burgeoning technology sector on Friday.

According to The Hill, the senators’ proposal requires that AI companies apply for licensing and specifies that a tech liability shield would not protect them from being sued.

“This bipartisan framework is a milestone — the first tough, comprehensive legislative blueprint for real, enforceable AI protections,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “It should put us on a path to addressing the promise and peril AI portends.

“We’ll continue hearings with industry leaders and experts, as well as other conversations and fact finding to build a coalition of support for legislation.”

Hawley told The Hill that the framework’s principles should “form the backbone” of AI regulation by Congress.

The framework recommends establishing a licensing bureau run by an independent oversight agency that AI companies would be required to register with. The oversight agency would have the authority to audit the companies seeking licenses.

The proposal also calls on Congress to make clear that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does not shield AI companies from liability, the way it does tech companies from legal consequences for third-party content.

Other sections of the framework adjure AI companies to protect consumers and children, defend national security, and foster transparency.

As the chair and the ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and Law, Blumenthal and Hawley jointly announced a Tuesday hearing on AI oversight and legislation.

According to the Judiciary Committee’s website, the hearing will feature testimony from Brad Smith, Microsoft vice chairman and president; William Dally, NVIDIA chief scientist and senior vice president of research; and Woodrow Hartzog, Boston University School of Law professor.

The framework release and hearing announcement comes less than a week before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s AI insight forum, when top tech executives are expected to brief lawmakers on the benefits and risks of AI technology.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

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