Tech leaders explore new public policy frontiers for AI

ChatGPT and other next-generation strains of artificial intelligence have revolutionized the tech world over the past year, and policymakers are ramping up their efforts to respond.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, the Washington state Democrat who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, says the situation reminds her of the way the G.I. Bill opened up opportunities for veterans returning home from World War II.

“Now, instead of a G.I. Bill, we need an AI education bill,” she said today during a Future of AI Forum conducted in downtown Seattle. “We need a bill that says, how do we educate for the future, given the impacts of AI? How do we offer the training and the skill set so people can adapt now in the workplace?”

Cantwell’s forum provided an opportunity for AI startups in Washington state to show how their ventures could bring fresh innovations to a wide variety of fields — and provided an opportunity for leaders from government, academia, industry and labor to lay out their ideas for supporting and regulating AI.

“We tend to use the phrase ‘It’s Day One’ in the age of internet,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of database, analytics and machine learning at Amazon Web Services. “But in this phase, I would say it’s Day One, we just woke up and we haven’t even had a cup of coffee yet.”

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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