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Young: Expect legislation on AI in early 2024

Young: Expect A.I. legislation early next year

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s senior U.S. senator told News 8 he expects Congressional committees will begin debating AI legislation in the first three months of the year, though it’s hard to say how many bills they’ll consider.

Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, has co-hosted a series of forums on artificial intelligence featuring policymakers and industry leaders since late September. In an interview for All INdiana Politics, Young said AI presents major opportunities as well as significant threats as the technology matures. Positive examples include AI-assisted classroom instruction for children and curing cancer. Potential risks include a terrorist organization such as Hamas using AI to engineer a bioweapon.

Young said many of the privacy and consumer protection concerns that have been raised about AI likely already are covered by existing laws and court precedent, though those laws might need some revisions to accommodate AI. So far, he said lawmakers have taken extensive notes but have not yet put forth any legislative ideas.

“We’re not going to get everything right and we shouldn’t try and tackle everything early on and at once,” he said.

Young also addressed the latest developments in Israel’s war against Hamas in his interview. According to the White House, one American woman and seven American men are still being held hostage in Gaza. Young, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the U.S. is still working through the Qatari government to try to bring those hostages home. Asked about comments by presidential candidates Chris Christie and, indirectly, Ron DeSantis, about sending in American troops to rescue those hostages, Young said the U.S. should do everything possible to bring the Americans home but should not make decisions based on “political imperatives that are impossible.”

The Biden Administration has repeatedly urged the Israeli government to minimize civilian casualties as Israeli troops push deeper into Gaza. Young said he believes the Israelis already are doing everything they can to minimize such casualties. He said Hamas’ decision to locate its own infrastructure underneath hospitals and other facilities makes it impossible to completely prevent innocent deaths.

“I do think they are abiding by certainly my reading of international law,” he said. “There have been some missteps and I think it’s appropriate for members of Congress and all of our leaders to identify those and work with our ally.”

This week, the U.S. Coast Guard released a report in which it acknowledged it failed to protect its members, including cadets at the Coast Guard Academy, safe from sexual assault. This followed months of reporting by CNN that the Coast Guard had for years suppressed the findings of an internal investigation dubbed Operation Fouled Anchor. Young also serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has oversight over the Coast Guard. He said the committee has received a copy of the Fouled Anchor report and is reviewing it. He said from what he has seen so far, there were breakdowns in the chain of command and people need to be held accountable.

News 8 also asked Young if he has decided who he will endorse in the presidential primary. He has already said he will not support former President Donald Trump. Young said he still has not decided who to support but he finds former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s candidacy “highly appealing.”

All INdiana Politics airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WISH-TV.