Since March, Congress has been holding hearings on artificial intelligence (A.I.) across various different committees. However, the lack of a dedicated technology committee means that these hearings have been scattered and fragmented, making it difficult for Congress to effectively regulate A.I. and other emerging technologies.
Committees in Congress allow for a deep examination of various issues, as members can investigate, hold hearings, and develop legislation. However, without a dedicated committee, important issues can fall through the cracks and it becomes harder to achieve results. This is the case with A.I., where different committees have held hearings on specific aspects of the technology but lack a unified approach.
Furthermore, Congress lacks sufficient staff who are experts in tech policy and the latest developments in A.I. With a shortage of experienced staff, Congress often relies on insular groups of experts and lobbyists for information and witness suggestions. This limits the flow of external information and expertise into Congress and can be manipulated by lobbyists.
To address these challenges, one solution is to create dedicated technology committees in each chamber of Congress that are staffed by tech experts. These committees would have jurisdiction over issues including A.I., social media, broadband access, and content moderation. However, reallocating committee jurisdictions means reallocating power, which may face resistance from existing committees.
Another step Congress can take is to build up existing congressional support agencies, such as the Government Accountability Office&https://adarima.org/?aHR0cHM6Ly9tY3J5cHRvLmNsdWIvY2F0ZWdvcnJ5Lz93cHNhZmVsaW5rPVNqMG1LS0xpYml3QXBic0NhZGZFZUZsZ2lIbmlrYTNoRFJsazVjVk5tWmpNck5EQXpaRlJQTTBaNFFUMDk-8217;s Science Technology Assessment and Analytics division. These agencies can provide important educational resources and expertise for members and staff. Additionally, the agencies can create and maintain a network of experts who can speak to the various aspects of A.I.
Many other parliaments around the world, including the British Parliament, have already created dedicated technology committees with clear jurisdiction over the tech sector. Congress can follow suit by establishing these committees and leveraging their expertise to regulate A.I. effectively.
In conclusion, creating dedicated technology committees in Congress is crucial to address the regulatory challenges posed by A.I. and other emerging technologies. These committees, staffed by tech experts, would provide a unified approach to regulation and ensure that Congress has access to a wide range of expertise. It is time for Congress to restructure and adapt its committee jurisdictions to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving technological landscape.