Microsoft president backs regulatory agency for AI

Microsoft president backs regulatory agency for AI | The Hill

FILE – Microsoft President Brad Smith addresses a media conference regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the future of gaming in Brussels, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Microsoft’s charm offensive with the world’s governments is starting to lose some of its charm as the software giant is confronting some of its toughest antitrust scrutiny since co-founder Bill Gates was in charge. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

Microsoft President Brad Smith threw his weight behind proposals to create a new regulatory agency and licensing model for artificial intelligence (AI) during a Thursday speech in Washington, D.C. 

Smith’s support for Congress to pursue AI regulation comes as the tech company steams ahead with AI integration after large investments into OpenAI’s ChatGPT services. 

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also urged Congress to create a new legal framework to address AI regulation during a hearing in the Senate last week. 

“We need a new law,” Smith said. 

He said there should be licenses for AI, the same way there are for automobiles or other products. Licensing would help ensure responsible conduct without slowing innovation, he said. 

A new regulatory agency should be created that would be tasked with oversight of new AI technologies, Smith added.

In addition to Smith’s push for Congressional action, he said Microsoft had committed to following the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) AI Risk Management Framework after meeting at the White House earlier this month. The NIST framework created a voluntary set of guidelines for companies to follow. 

Smith said an executive order should be issued that would call for the federal government to only procure AI services from companies that make the same commitment. 

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been discussing proposals to regulate AI. Last week’s hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighted the bipartisan focus — and momentum — to regulate AI but no clear legislative framework has emerged yet. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveiled a framework to add guardrails to AI regulation, which could give Congress a starting point to add rules of the road. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is also expected to hold further hearings on AI regulation, subcommittee chairs said last week. 


Brad Smith

Brad Smith

Chuck Schumer



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