Artificial Intelligence’s Congressional Debut

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  • Ukrainian army Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said Tuesday the country’s air defenses had shot down 18 Russian missiles, including six hypersonic Kinzhal ballistic missiles, during an overnight barrage. Russian state media had previously declared the sophisticated hypersonic weapons “impossible” to detect or intercept.
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  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron notched a double-digit victory in the state’s GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday and will face Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in November. Cameron—a Trump-endorsed candidate and longtime ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—fended off a challenge from former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, who had been backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
  • North Carolina state lawmakers voted Tuesday to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill that prohibits most abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, with exceptions for rape and incest (up to 20 weeks of gestation), “life-limiting anomalies” (up to 24 weeks), and life of the mother (no limit). The bill also appropriates money for child and foster care programs, contraception, and paid parental leave for teachers and government employees. North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers have pitched the legislation as a model for states around the country. 
  • The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that retail sales rose 0.4 percent month-over-month in April—the first such increase since January—after declining 0.7 percent in March.
  • Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Lucas died Monday at 85. A professor at the University of Chicago for four decades, he popularized the inclusion of rational expectations in macroeconomics and introduced what became known as the “Lucas critique”—the idea that policymakers need to consider how a given decision will influence individuals’ behavior when modeling the effects of said decision.


Samuel Altman, CEO of OpenAI, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law on May 16. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Samuel Altman, CEO of OpenAI, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law on May 16. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Members of Congress might not agree on much, but at a Tuesday hearing before the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, they all affirmed it’s crucial to get artificial intelligence regulation right. Lawmakers compared the technology to the breakthroughs of the printing press, internet, and atomic bomb, while Sam Altman—CEO of OpenAI, which creates AI tools including ChatGPT—warned that “if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong.”

Cheer up, ChatGPT told TMD: “Regulating AI doesn’t mean we have to be AI-fraid of it!”

We’ll keep writing our own jokes for now. And ChatGPT’s reassurances won’t do much for lawmakers who expect AI tools to shape elections, news, and labor markets—and are worried about repeating regulatory mistakes made with social media companies. Tuesday, they asked Altman and other experts for help regulating AI without quashing its useful attributes.

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