Don Beyer’s car dealerships were among the first in the U.S. to set up a website. As a representative, the Virginia Democrat leads a bipartisan group focused on promoting fusion energy. He reads books about geometry for fun.

So when questions about regulating artificial intelligence emerged, the 73-year-old Beyer took what for him seemed like an obvious step, enrolling at George Mason University to get a master’s degree in machine learning. In an era when lawmakers and Supreme Court justices sometimes concede they don’t understand emerging technology, Beyer’s journey is an outlier, but it highlights a broader effort by members of Congress to educate themselves about artificial intelligence as they consider laws that would shape its development.

Frightening to some, thrilling to others, baffling to many: Artificial intelligence has been called a transformative technology, a threat to democracy or even an existential risk for humanity. It will fall to members of Congress to figure out how to regulate the industry in a way that encourages its potential benefits while mitigating the worst risks.


Read the full article here.