New Legislation Aims To Create A National Commission On AI

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A U.S. lawmaker has proposed a new bill that seeks to establish a national security commission on artificial intelligence (AI), which will be tasked with submitting a comprehensive AI report to the President of the United States next year, assuming the legislation passes into law. New York Representative Elise Stefanik authored H.R. 5356, also known as the "National Security Commission Artificial Intelligence Act of 2018," which will create an independent commission within the executive branch of the federal government, though it is scheduled for termination on October 1, 2020.

The commission's general responsibility will be to conduct an examination of the recent developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and related technologies in the country by taking into consideration the methods used for AI advancement and how it can help meet the national security demands of the country. Among other things, the commission will also review how competitive the country is in this emerging field and evaluate the ways the United States can maintain its lead in AI and associated technologies such as quantum and high-performance computing. Additionally, the bill wants to put into consideration the risks that may arise from the militarization of AI and machine learning by the United States and other nations as it will be reviewed under the international law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, and escalation dynamics. The new legislation also provides for the appointment of 11 members to the commission not more than three months since the enactment of the bill. The commission is also set to receive an amount not exceeding $10 million, which will be allocated from the Department of Defense's appropriation for the fiscal year 2019 so that it will be able to carry out its duties.

Not later than 180 days after the legislation is passed into law, if at all, the commission must provide an initial report on its findings to the President and Congress as well as recommendations on actions that must be taken by both the executive and legislative branches on AI. Meanwhile, the industry did not lack for efforts to ask the U.S. government to pay attention to AI, with NVIDIA's Dr. Ian Buck having recently called for the government to increase its funding and emphasis on AI research.

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