Hawley Calls Out Big Tech Greed, Defends Americans’ Right to Protect Themselves from Harmful AI

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) highlighted his bipartisan legislation to put power in the hands of consumers and give Americans harmed by nascent AI technology their day in court to hold Big Tech companies accountable. In a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Senator Hawley called out the tech industry for focusing on profits while turning a blind eye to the dangers of AI—like chatbots that have successfully taunted users into committing suicide.

“Why should these—the biggest, most powerful technology companies in the history of the world—why should they be insulated from accountability when their technology is encouraging people to ruin their relationships, break up their marriages, and commit suicide?” Senator Hawley asked.

He continued, “Parents and others who are harmed by AI should be able to get into court and have their day in court against [Big Tech] members, just like any American can do with any other company.”

Click here or above to watch the full remarks.

Senator Hawley has been a leading voice in fighting for legislative action on AI to protect consumers. Last June, he and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the No Section 230 Immunity for AI Act to deny AI companies a sweetheart government deal that currently shields them for accountability. 

Senator Hawley’s effort to unanimously pass his bipartisan bill was blocked by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) this past December.

Last week, Senator Hawley—the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law—co-chaired a hearing, calling on Congress to protect Americans’ creative work from being harvested by powerful AI companies without fair pay.