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Marco Rubio calls for unregulated AI marketplace
While this week's classified, all-senators AI briefing was still happening, Rubio came out opposed to regulating Silicon Valley's use of AI.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is potentially open to supporting regulations on how the federal government uses AI, but he’s opposed to Congress regulating Silicon Valley firms who sell Americans private data like it’s a commodity.
“I think even now the Department of Defense does not allow a machine to make a decision, but whether it’s smart to codify that, sure,” Rubio told reporters staked outside of Tuesday’s classified all-senators AI briefing at the US Capitol.
Rubio—the vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee—was one of the first senators to leave the briefing while it was still going, and he came out in strong defense of US tech firms’ use of AI and American’s private data.
“Google’s application would be very different than what the government might use it for, although the same engineering capability can be reengineered for some other nefarious purposes,” Rubio said.
Here’s a short, :39 second clip of prof. Laslo questing Marco Rubio. The raw, uncut 10+ minute audio from the scrum is below.
A rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s brief exchange with Rubio yesterday 7-11-2023), after he left a classified all-senators AI briefing. Slightly edited for clarity.
Matt Laslo: “It seems like you’re saying: put constraints on the government but Silicon Valley we trust—we don’t want to hamper them.”
Marco Rubio: “Well, we still have laws that govern things like privacy….”
ML: “No, we don’t. Y’all haven’t touched that.”
MR: “...and property rights….”
MR: “...and speech and all kinds of things. Certainly, those things would still be prohibited no matter whether it’s a human or a machine that’s violating it.”
MR: “Look, again, I just don’t…”
ML: “AI is going to take all of our personal data that they have in Silicon Valley right now, because y’all haven’t acted...”
MR: “Well, they’ll take the data to try to predict what you’re going to buy tomorrow or where you want to travel to tomorrow or what you want to look at, and it already does.”
Matt Laslo is a WIRED magazine contributor, lectures on new media’s impact on government at Johns Hopkins University (MA) and the founder of Ask A Pol—a people-powered press corps. Find him on most social media @MattLaslo.
Camila Aponte and Noah Kolenda contributed to this post.