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Sen. Maria Cantwell is championing a bill that would study the future impacts of AI. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell and several of her colleagues have introduced a bill that would set up a special advisory committee to prepare for the wave of artificial intelligence technology that is imminent.

The bill asks the Department of Commerce to establish a group of experts from technology companies, research institutions, manufacturing, civil liberties groups, and government to study and predict the impact AI will have on society.

AI is in its infancy but the technology is expected to increase efficiency across industries. There are big risks associated with AI disruption, like sweeping job displacement and new privacy and equity issues. Predicting the consequences of this new technology and advising lawmakers on the best way to prepare for AI is the goal of the new advisory committee.

Sens. Todd Young and Ed Markey, along with Reps. John Delaney and Pete Olson, joined Cantwell in introducing the first-of-its-kind legislation. They dubbed it the “Fundamentally Understanding the Usability and Realistic Evolution of Artificial Intelligence” – or FUTURE of AI — Act. Now that the bill has been introduced, it will be referred over to the Commerce Committee for next steps.

“We expect that artificial intelligence will be an incredibly transformative force for growth and productivity,” Cantwell said in a statement. “We need to be ready for it.”

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