A deep dive into US cross-industry group looking to probe AI risks


In a move aimed at investigating the risks and applications of AI in cybersecurity, the R Street Institute has orchestrated a six-month-long working group.

This assembly amalgamates diverse stakeholders from the private sector, legislative staffers, academic scholars, and representatives from civil society to methodically explore the intricate framework where cybersecurity and AI intersect.

Emphasising a comprehensive approach, the working group will not solely spotlight generative AI, but scrutinise AI technologies at large, entailing a thorough investigation into their use cases, currently proposed regulatory and legislative measures, and deducing best practices applicable for both corporations and legislative entities.

A distinguishable feature of the R Street working group is its unique focus on deciphering the correlation between AI and cybersecurity, extending its exploration beyond just the popular forms of generative AI. Congressional offices, including those of Congressman Jay Obernolte and Senator Joe Machin III, alongside representatives from tech giant Google, the UC Berkeley AI Security Initiative, the Software & Information Industry Association, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, are participating in an advisory capacity.

This effort follows growing trepidation among Washington policymakers regarding the potential perils emanating from AI technologies, as elucidated in Senator Mark Warner’s letter to AI companies in April, prodding them about their security protocols.

Despite the prevailing apprehensions related to risks, technology companies are progressively unveiling AI products, particularly within the cybersecurity industry.

Brandon Pugh, who directs R Street’s Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats team, commented that whilst AI-related concerns predominantly navigate towards its potentially adverse impacts, it nonetheless exhibits “tremendous value to cybersecurity” and has been implemented in cybersecurity frameworks for several years.

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