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Lieu, Auchincloss boldly go where AI so far has not: the House

Democratic House members use ChatGPT to write resolution and speech

Rep. Ted Lieu used the artificial intelligence program ChatGPT to write a resolution that calls for Congress to focus on AI.
Rep. Ted Lieu used the artificial intelligence program ChatGPT to write a resolution that calls for Congress to focus on AI. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Educators may be worried that students will use a new, free artificial intelligence tool to cheat on writing essays, but lawmakers are leaning into it — or don’t consider it cheating. 

The tool, ChatGPT, can almost instantly generate seemingly human-produced text based on a question or other written prompt. Two members of Congress used ChatGPT this week to write the first AI-generated piece of federal legislation and the text of a floor speech.  

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California used the AI program to generate a 168-word resolution expressing support for AI, and Rep. Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts used it to write a one-minute floor speech saying he would introduce legislation that would establish a joint AI research center.

Lieu’s resolution is indistinguishable from measures originating from other forms of intelligence, better known as staff members, although, in contrast to staff members, ChatGPT did use the text to sing its own praises: “AI is rapidly advancing and has the potential to change the way we live, work, and interact.” The resolution would urge the House to ensure that AI development is safe and ethical and respects Americans’ rights and privacy. 

Lieu got the text by giving the AI program this instruction: “You are Congressman Ted Lieu. Write a comprehensive congressional resolution generally expressing support for Congress to focus on AI.”

For a Jan. 23 op-ed in The New York Times, Lieu also turned to AI, instructing it to “write an attention grabbing first paragraph of an Op-Ed on why artificial intelligence should be regulated.” 

It turns out that AI tools are very anxious about the future. “Imagine a world where autonomous weapons roam the streets, decisions about your life are made by AI systems that perpetuate societal biases and hackers use AI to launch devastating cyberattacks,” ChatGPT responded.

Lieu used the op-ed to urge establishment of an agency to regulate AI. He also said he would introduce legislation that would create a commission to provide recommendations on such regulations. 

“We can harness and regulate A.I. to create a more utopian society or risk having an unchecked, unregulated A.I. push us toward a more dystopian future,” he wrote, noting that he did so himself.   

Partnership with Israel sought

Auchincloss used his one-minute, AI-written speech to say he would introduce legislation that would establish an AI research partnership between the United States and Israel. 

“This is a critical step forward in an era where AI and its implications are taking center stage in public discourse. We must collaborate with international partners like the Israeli government to ensure that the United States maintains a leadership role in AI research and development, and responsibly explores the many possibilities evolving technologies provide,” Auchincloss said on the floor. Or rather, ChatGPT wrote. 

He  said later on Twitter that he didn’t deliver the speech just to be a Capitol Hill first. 

“AI might become a general purpose technology: foundational in every sector. I delivered the first AI-drafted congressional speech yesterday as a call to action. Policymakers need to be purposeful and proactive,” he tweeted. 

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