Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks on Leveraging AI to Enhance American Communications
Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing titled “Leveraging AI to Enhance American Communications.”
“AI has the potential to usher in a new era of discovery and innovation.
“This technology can be used to solve problems we once thought unsolvable.
“It offers advancements that could empower people, expand worker productivity, create new jobs, and grow the economy.
“Its potential is vast, unlocking possibilities across every sector of the economy.
“That said, AI also raises serious concerns about how bad actors can exploit this technology and abuse it.
“As AI gets deployed, we must think about appropriate measures to ensure accountability.
“The best way to start this effort is by laying the groundwork to protect people’s information with a national data privacy standard, which provides greater transparency and puts people back in control over the collection and use of their personal information.
“It is critical that America—not China—is the one addressing these challenges and leading to both AI’s development and deployment and ensuring people’s data privacy is protected.”
ENHANCING TELECOM NETWORKS
“Access to the Internet has become an integral part of life for many Americans.
“Broadband has unleashed new tools that have improved our education system, health care, and our ability to stay in touch with family and friends.
“It’s strengthened our economy, empowered entrepreneurs, researchers, and allowed people to connect around the world in ways they never could before.
“Providers are constantly working to increase the capacity on their networks and deploy more network infrastructure.
“AI and machine learning can monitor networks to determine what bandwidth is available at a specific time.
“This could significantly improve the efficiency of our communications infrastructure without any disruption for people using the services, enhancing the user experience.”
“AI’s ability to engage in pattern recognition extends far beyond human capability, allowing for advanced detection of cybersecurity threats and malicious activity.
“Unfortunately, AI models can also be used to enhance hacking capabilities, such as deepfake-enabled phishing attacks.
“The best way to address this malicious use of AI may in fact be to leverage AI tools to detect, prevent, and respond to threats.
“America’s networks are under constant attack from our adversaries and other bad actors.
“Cyberwarfare is an ever-changing landscape and requires that we utilize all technologies available to protect our critical infrastructure.”
STOPPING ILLEGAL CONTENT
“Similarly, AI can be a helpful tool to combat illegal and violent content online, like recent content posted by Hamas, which they are using to recruit, spread propaganda, potentially livestream the murder and torture of hostages, and organize more terrorist activities.
“That said, while this may be an efficient tool to combat illegal content, we need transparency and accountability from Big Tech to ensure these new tools aren’t being abused to moderate content in a way that infringes on American’s right to free speech.”
ENCOURAGING RESPONSIBLE DEPLOYMENT AND INNOVATION
“Protecting the innovative nature of AI while encouraging responsible development and deployment is key to unlocking its full potential.
“This is best done with a light-touch, market-driven approach that provides clear rules and guidance for industry.
“The Biden administration’s recent AI Executive Order fell short of this objective.
“While I agree with the President that the best way to cementing American AI leadership is by first enacting a comprehensive data privacy and security law, I am concerned the order itself places unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens that could hinder the development of this critical technology.
“To address the challenges of AI and take advantage of the benefits, the administration needs to work with Congress to strike the right balance between encouraging innovation and ensuring responsible development and deployment.
“AI and machine learning are here to stay. Its potential is both exciting and disruptive.
“AI could vastly enhance people’s lives, especially by improving communications network performance and internet speeds.
“But with the benefits come risks, especially cyber risks and the abuse of people’s personal data.
“The best way to mitigate many of these risks and cement America’s leadership in AI is by enacting comprehensive data privacy and security legislation.
“I look forward to the discussion today and to hearing from our witnesses about the vast use cases for artificial technology in the communications and technology space.”