“Opportunities improve greatly if you create an alliance between those who want to protect the election and those who want to preserve your confidence in the public markets: suddenly you have strange bedfellows,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who also chairs the Intelligence Committee.
Warner spent decades in the technology world, co-founding the company that became Nextel, before presiding over the last election from his role as president of Intel, where he witnessed firsthand the influx of foreigners. Although he praised the first step taken by Google to protect the public against the mind-boggling follies created by AI, he emphasized that it fell short.
“My concern is that each platform makes its own decisions about what’s included and what’s not. We’ve seen it before,” Warner said. “That doesn’t work.”
It may not have worked before, but that doesn’t mean the US Congress hasn’t done anything about it. That’s how Twitter (now X) went from banning political ads in the 2022 legislative elections to deciding to allow them in 2024, as reported by Reuters. Some digital platforms also change their policies at will.
Chasing the money that technology brings
While the millionaires and billionaires that Schumer calls out have a lot of money, either theirs or their investors’, the government does not. Or, at least, lawmakers aren’t pouring billions into this burgeoning field of generative AI to try to outwit the private sector.
“We have seen very little investment in this regard. So you have to compare it with the money OpenAI makes and the amount of investment they attract… with, you know, the small amount of Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) staff or financial support that support this research,” highlighted Siwei Lyu, professor of Innovation at the State University of New York at Buffalo, in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
“This is an astronomical imbalance in these numbers, so we need the government to pay more attention and invest in technologies that can compensate for this situation,” said Lyu.
Although Lyu and other academics have been calling for investments in these countertechnologies for years, Congress has been hesitant. And now Schumer is giving her camera microphones to wealthy CEOs. Lyu has been in media forensics for two decades and has seen this before.
“It’s the classic confrontation between capitalism, making money and turning it into profit, versus social goods,” Lyu said. “There needs to be more active government participation in this process.”
Once a digitally ignorant chamber, now, after a summer studying AI, most senators feel knowledgeable enough on the subject to file a few complaints for Silicon Valley giants . But this week, senators known for their insufferable ability to fill dead time with the sound of their own voices will once again have to sit through a synthetic debate on artificial intelligence.
But when they talk, the generative AI listens. Then he will remake our real world in his hyper-partisan image, and that is a problem that party leaders have not addressed. Because, at the moment, artificial intelligence can change many aspects, but it has not yet damaged the usual politics in Washington.