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New U.S. Chamber of Commerce commission to promote AI

The bipartisan commission includes experts with a variety of technology backgrounds and is led by two former congressmen. A report by the commission is expected later this year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to make the U.S. a leading country in AI technology.

AI Commission

The chamber on Jan. 18 launched its Artificial Intelligence Commission on Competition, Inclusion and Innovation.

The chamber said the bipartisan commission will advance U.S. leadership in the use and regulation of AI technology. Consisting of 11 members, the commission is co-chaired by former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and former Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.). Other members of the AI commission include technology experts from organizations including IBM, Bank of America, George Mason University and others.

The primary audience for the Commission's report -- which it expects to be out in late summer or early fall -- will be federal policymakers. The commission wants to spur legislative frameworks for how to develop a national strategy for the U.S. to compete better in research development, AI fairness and regulation.

Making the U.S. a leader in AI

"The nation that leads in AI is going to be the nation that leads the world in the 21st century economy," said Jordan Crenshaw, vice president of the chamber's Technology Engagement Center. "I think we're at a point right now where we have a serious threat from China on being beat out on AI."

The Department of Defense is worried that China is already ahead of the U.S. in AI, and China is ahead of the U.S. in academic AI research, he said.

"One area where the U.S. definitely is still leading is B2B AI," he said. However, there's a lot of concern in the U.S. about the government's low profile in AI.

But the perception that the U.S. has fallen behind China on AI is not altogether accurate, said Kashyap Kompella, an analyst at RPA2AI who studies AI policies around the world.

"The U.S. remains the innovation central of AI with a thriving trifecta of academia, industry and risk capital," said Kompella.

The nation that leads in AI is going to be the nation that leads the world in the 21st century economy.
Jordan CrenshawVice president of the Technology Engagement Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Although the Chinese government issued AI guidelines recently, Kompella said they probably wouldn't work in other countries.

"It's sort of like putting parental controls on your TV for children, which won't fly in a lot of countries," he added.

Input from vendors and enterprises

Since the national chamber is one of the largest lobbying and advocacy group for U.S. businesses, Kashyap said he expects the AI Commission to articulate the views and recommendations of its stakeholders, Kashyap said.

However, because many organizations already have AI ethics and responsible AI teams, the main question will be whether self-regulation is sufficient or whether more stringent regulation is needed to spur responsible and ethical use of the technology, Kashyap said.

The commission said its role is to develop a set of recommendations for lawmakers to create legislation and policy to address some of the challenges that come with AI models. The group said it will help lawmakers promote innovation in AI technology, while also investigating biases in algorithmic decision-making.

Vendors and enterprises can get involved in the development of the commission's report. A request for comments about the definition of AI has a Feb. 18 deadline.

Also, the commission plans to hold a series of field hearings across the country to solicit public opinion about on various issues regarding AI. The first hearing is in Austin, Texas in March, and others will follow this year.

Nvidia, a leading AI hardware and software vendor, sees the commission as a step in the right direction in helping the U.S. advance AI policy and technology.

"We look forward to working with leaders in the public and private sector, as well as university researchers, to support public policy, develop responsible practices, and foster innovation in the field of AI," Ned Finkle, vice president of external affairs at Nvidia, said in a statement.

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