Senate AI Roadmap Fails to Recognize or Address AI Harms

May 15, 2024

The Senate AI working group released its roadmap for AI today after months of closed-door discussions. The document speaks at great length of AI’s potential, but fails to adequately acknowledge or address AI’s existing harms. This mindset that AI adoption is both good and inevitable prevents the roadmap from meaningfully engaging with the many criticisms and concerns surrounding AI. With a proposal of $32 billion for AI research and development and few meaningful proposals to address AI safety and harmful impacts, this is a roadmap for the development of AI, but not a meaningful roadmap to actually regulate AI.

The roadmap fails to acknowledge the many well documented harms that AI already inflicts on Americans. On the same day that the Senate’s roadmap was released, EPIC released a report on the harms caused by Generative AI. The new report, Generating Harms II: Generative AI’s New & Continued Impacts, expands on our first Generative AI harms report, delving into the risks generative AI poses to elections, privacy rights, data function and quality, and creator rights over their content. In a new section, the report also sets out and categorizes the various state, federal, international, and private-sector proposals intended to counter, mitigate, or remedy generative AI harms.

The lack of attention to the very real harms caused by AI means the roadmap also lacks policy proposals to address those harms. This is a missed opportunity by the Senate AI working group to ensure that any AI innovation is done in a way that respects people’s rights and does not exacerbate harms. Congress should not make the same mistakes with AI that it did with data privacy – the time to regulate this technology is now.

EPIC’s AI and Human Rights Project advocates for transparent, equitable, and accountable AI regulations. We pursue this through agency comments, FOIA requests, amicus briefs, testimony, research and reports, and more.

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