This week, the New York Young Young Republican Club joined the Bull Moose Project in sending a letter to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asking that he recuse himself from participating in the bipartisan coalition developing AI guardrails in the U.S. Senate.
The letter highlights Senator Schumer’s familial conflicts with Big Tech companies and past instances of Senator Schumer recusing himself over bias concerns.
Read the full letter below:
Dear Majority Leader Schumer,
As the Senate considers regulatory approaches to artificial intelligence (AI), it is crucial that lawmakers’ personal conflicts of interest do not impact policy decisions. Given the cost and capacity needed to develop AI systems, experts are concerned that Big Tech could leverage AI to cement its monopoly power. Amid widespread scrutiny of its anti-competitive behavior, Meta Platforms has accelerated its push into the AI market, recently releasing its Llama 2 model for commercial use. Alongside the launch of Google’s Bard chatbot and Amazon’s use of AI for cloud computing, these fears appear warranted. Owing to your familial ties to Big Tech, we urge you to recuse yourself from policy deliberations on AI issues.
Last year, during a push to pass bipartisan antitrust legislation to rein in Big Tech, observers noted your children’s employment at Meta and Amazon when discussing your inaction on the issue. Specifically, concerns were raised that Alison Schumer’s work at Meta as a privacy and politics product marketing manager and Jessica Schumer’s work as a registered Amazon lobbyist created a conflict of interest. Given that your repeated refusal to put the legislation to a floor vote prevented their passage in the 117th Congress, these concerns grew over time and appear to have been warranted.
As Meta and Amazon continue their efforts to dominate the AI market, your familial ties to both companies make your participation in AI policy matters inappropriate. Meta’s AI models have proven ripe for abuse, and Amazon received scrutiny over past development of discriminatory AI models. As such, it is especially important the two embattled companies do not influence AI policy.
In 2014, reports of your brother’s involvement in Comcast’s attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable led you to recuse yourself from publicly weighing in on the merger. At the time, your spokesperson announced that you would “recuse [yourself] from Congressional consideration of the matter to avoid any appearance of bias.” Given the broad implications of AI development and the importance of developing sound regulations, it is only right that you recuse yourself from AI policy matters.
Gavin M. Wax
New York Young Republican Club