Hawley Co-Chairs A.I. Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing, Raises Concerns about Election Integrity and Company Liability

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Today in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law hearing on oversight of artificial intelligence (A.I.), U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ranking Member of the subcommittee, questioned leaders in the A.I. space, including Sam Altman, Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI.

“Will we strike that balance between technological innovation and our ethical and moral responsibility to humanity, to liberty, to the freedom of this country? I hope that today’s hearing will take us a step closer to that answer,” said Senator Hawley during his opening statement.

Senator Hawley questioned witnesses about A.I.’s infringement on consumer privacy, potential manipulation of personal behavior and opinions, and threats to election integrity.

“I want to think about this in the context of elections,” said Senator Hawley. ” […] Should we be concerned about models that can, large language models, that can predict survey opinion and then can help organizations, entities fine tune strategies to elicit behaviors from voters? Should we be worried about this for our elections?”

Sam Altman replied, “Thank you Senator Hawley for the question. It’s one of my areas of greatest concern.”

Later in the hearing, Senator Hawley called for the creation of laws enabling consumers harmed by A.I. to bring litigation against companies.

“Why don’t we just let people sue you? Why don’t we just make you liable in court? We can do that—we know how to do that,” said Senator Hawley. “We can pass a statute—we can create a federal right of action that will allow private individuals who are harmed by this technology to get into court?”

Click here to watch Senator Hawley’s full statements and hearing Q&A.