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Democratic Senators Call for GAO Review of Generative AI's Potential Risks

Senators Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Gary Peters of Michigan, both Democrats, have called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the potential dangers posed by generative artificial intelligence (AI). The request comes as legislators consider regulations for the rapidly expanding sector.


The senators urged the impartial government body in their letter dispatched on Friday to perform an exhaustive technological analysis of the hazards associated with generative AI tools, as well as strategies to lessen these risks.


In the letter, the senators cited known threats of the technology, which include the illicit creation of AI-generated pornography by malicious entities, and the promotion of risky and detrimental activities by AI tools.


"Prompt investigation is necessitated by these present and foreseeable future damages. We request that the GAO address these questions about damage caused by generative AI and potential countermeasures," they stated.


This call for a GAO review from Senators Markey and Peters comes in the wake of a series of congressional hearings, including a Senate Judiciary subcommittee session in May that featured the CEO of OpenAI, the firm responsible for the well-known ChatGPT AI chatbot.


This move also follows a proposal by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for AI regulation earlier in the week. Schumer's SAFE Innovation Framework for AI urges legislators to advance regulations based on five core principles: security, accountability, protection of foundations, explainability, and innovation.


Schumer also announced that a series of expert discussions on AI will be organized by the Senate to aid lawmakers. He stated that these forums will complement the ongoing work of committees through hearings.


Moreover, the Biden administration has been focusing on AI, with President Biden meeting tech leaders in San Francisco this week for discussions on AI. This follows his meetings with AI industry frontrunners, including Microsoft and Google, at the White House in May.

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