Two AI Policy Developments from Washington

This week, there were two important AI policy developments in Washington, DC. The U.S. Senate released a bipartisan AI policy roadmap, calling for substantial federal investment in AI as well as the development of rules to protect data privacy, expand AI access for small businesses, and more. Politico provides a good synopsis of this news.

This week also saw the White House release principles for the use of AI in the workplace, including engaging and protecting workers. Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said, “These principles provide a roadmap to help usher in a new era of technological transformation, one that will serve the country’s workers.”

Thank you for reading. The Executive Briefing will be off next week in advance of Memorial Day weekend. We’ll return on May 31.

This Week in Washington 

  • CNN: The Justice Department announced that federal prosecutors will pursue tougher sentences in cases in which artificial intelligence is used to commit election-related crimes. The new policy applies to cases in which AI makes election-related crime “more dangerous and more impactful” according to the DOJ. The move is part of a broader effort to protect election workers and the election process.
  • FedScoop: Two Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee called on the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to create an internal task force to address safety and security concerns presented by artificial intelligence, introducing the CISA Securing AI Task Force Act.
  • The Hill and Associated Press: A meeting between American and Chinese diplomats in Geneva concerning AI safety and risk management was deemed successful by U.S. participants. Meanwhile, President Biden leveled significant new tariffs on China and accused the country of cheating on trade and dumping underpriced goods on international markets. The tariffs are on electric vehicles, computer chips, solar cells, batteries, and other goods.
  • Broadband Breakfast: The U.S. House voted to reauthorize the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, while on the other side of the Capitol, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee postponed a discussion on short-term funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
  • Roll Call and the Wall Street Journal: Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), the respective chair and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced legislation that would end the Section 230 protections that shield tech and social media companies from liability related to user-generated content. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the members of Congress detail their frustration with years of Congressional failure to pass data privacy and online safety legislation that would protect children.
  • Nextgov: NASA named its first official chief artificial intelligence officer, promoting David Salvagnini to the agency’s leadership team from his current duties as NASA’s chief data officer, with an emphasis on establishing and executing a strategic vision for AI between NASA and external partners. He has been an IT professional within the intelligence community for more than two decades.

Article Summary

  • New York Times: A new program backed by Cornell, MIT, and UCLA will aim to prepare lower-income Latina and Black women majoring in computer science for careers working with artificial intelligence. The Break Through Tech A.I. program will include intensive classes developed by professors in collaboration with tech companies and other employers, and help students learn AI skills, develop industry connections, participate in projects they can discuss with job recruiters, and prepare for technical interviews.
  • Wall Street Journal: survey of professionals working in compliance for financial services, professional services, and tech companies found that cybersecurity threats – and how to counter, respond to, and report on them – are a top concern. 
  • American Enterprise Institute: A recent think tank blog explores the need for AI regulation to be developed and implemented with a strategic focus on risk management, safety, and trustworthiness. 

Featured Podcast


  • Bloomberg Technology
    Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow break down real estate mogul Frank McCourt’s plans to build a consortium to bid for social media app TikTok’s U.S. business. Plus, a look at the takeaways from Google’s annual I/O developers conference, and OpenAI’s Chief Scientist who played a key role in Sam Altman’s reversed ouster is departing the company. (Frank McCourt Readying U.S. TIkTok Bid, Google’s AI Announcements – May 15, 2024)