Grothman: Advancing American technology safely and effectively should be a bipartisan priority
Subcommittee Hearing Examines the Future of Artificial Intelligence
Washington, March 12, 2021
By: Committee on Oversight and Reform Press Release
WASHINGTON – Subcommittee on National Security Ranking Member Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) opened today’s joint hearing by emphasizing Congress has the responsibility to thoroughly examine artificial intelligence (AI) prior to investing billions of taxpayer dollars in the technology and ensure Americans’ privacy is protected.
In his opening statement, Subcommittee Ranking Member Grothman highlighted the importance of continuing to advance American technology safely, effectively, and in a bipartisan manner. However, he noted the ethical and data security issues surrounding the future of AI, particularly in China where the technology already supports genocide in Xinjiang and suppresses democracy in Hong Kong. Grothman concluded the hearing stating Congress must protect Americans and their data through strong data stewardship requirements, data transparency and disclosure rules, and data governance and collection rules.
Below are Subcommittee Ranking Member Grothman’s remarks as prepared.
I want to first thank Chairman Langevin and Ranking Member Stefanik for inviting us to join in this important hearing.
Advancing American technology safely and effectively should be a bipartisan priority.
I also want to thank our witnesses here today.
You authored an impressive and thorough report on the future of artificial intelligence or AI and gave Congress and the Executive a roadmap on how to proceed.
Government use of Artificial Intelligence poses significant and potentially positive outcomes but also significant challenges – particularly surrounding ethical use and data security.
I think it is the duty of Congress to examine both the positives and negatives of AI prior to authorizing what is likely to be billions of dollars for decades.
Your report highlights much of this, but I want to focus on two main topics:
The purpose of civilian government use of AI should be to decrease the footprint and size while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government.
It would defeat the purpose of a massive investment in an automation technology to simply expand the size and scope of agencies instead of streamlining the workforce.
An analysis by Deloitte suggests that smart use of AI can save billions of man hours and billions of dollars.
This level of savings can only be experienced if the government makes cuts where AI allows us.
We can see these benefits already taking place all over government, like at the Social Security Administration and the Patent and Trademark Office.
As the technology grows and advances, so must our workforce.
The government must get better at recruiting and retaining top talent.
To achieve the benefits of AI, we must be able to ensure our fellow Americans that their data is safe, and this technology is being used ethically.
AI can be prone to false positives and negatives and over reliance on suspected patterns.
It also relies on massive amounts of data in order to continue to learn and evolve.
We must protect this data through data stewardship requirements, data transparency and disclosure rules, data governance rules, and data collection rules.
These protections must be put in place.
We can see the dangers of run-away AI use in China.
Using AI to support genocide in Xinjiang and suppress democracy in Hong Kong provides insight into how our adversaries view and use this technology – as a way to suppress dissent and to become a global economic and military power.
It is vital that the U.S. counter these actions.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about how we can balance this new global arms race with government efficiency and privacy.
I yield back.