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US Congressman Adam Schiff joined the striking actors and writers of SAG-AFTRA on the picket lines today, and called for regulating artificial intelligence.
“Congress did a lousy job responding to all the changes in social media—we need to do much better when it comes to AI," Schiff said, according to a Deadline report. "Otherwise, this country’s about to go through the most massive social experiment in which the American people may be the losers, and we need to make sure that’s not going to be the case.”
Rep. Schiff’s comments come as union members begin their first full week after talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) collapsed on Wednesday.
The congressman stressed the need to ensure that employees are not overlooked or disadvantaged in every sector where AI has an impact.
“I think that those in the entertainment industry are really the tip of the spear, but this is going to happen with driverless trucks and automobiles and in so many other ways,” Schiff said.
Several high-profile individuals, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and the UN Secretary-General, have already called for government regulation of AI, but it is currently unclear how to implement it and which agencies would have jurisdiction.
"I don't think there is one agency [to regulate AI] because some issues do not naturally fall under one agency," Senior Fellow and Director at the Center for the Economics of the Internet Harold Furchtgott-Roth told Decrypt in an interview.
Furchtgott-Roth, who served as a Federal Communications Commission Commissioner from 1997 to 2001, said that while AI privacy concerns may fall under the jurisdiction of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), intellectual property concerns may fall under the US Patent and Trademark Office, and issues related to national security and AI would be handled by the US Department of Defense.
"AI affects a lot of different agencies and in a lot of different ways," he said.
Critical concerns among the 20,000 members of the Writers Guild of America and 160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA are the potential use of AI in developing scripts and capturing performers' likenesses for future use, what type of compensation would be offered, and what protections would be implemented.
"On the one hand, nothing's changed," writer and producer Molly Nussbaum ("Brave New World") told Decrypt outside Paramount Pictures. "We know what we need and stand by what we've been asking for since the beginning."
"What's changed is the amplification of what this thread is now, not in the future, but right now,” she added. “And the actors feel that more acutely, even [compared] to the writers."