American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten will be speaking to Senate Democrats about regulating artificial intelligence (AI) at a September forum hosted by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
While most of the forum speakers appear to be technology experts such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates, Weingarten is one of the few apparent exceptions, according to a list posted online. The first reported list of speakers did not include any women, and Schumer unveiled a larger list including female speakers after receiving backlash on social media, according to The Washington Post.
Why is Randi Weingarten on this list? https://t.co/Y2Mpa8fV5x
— 1776 Project PAC (@1776ProjectPac) August 30, 2023
Weingarten has frequently supported Democrats and their policies, including on COVID-19 and the Inflation Reduction Act.
She and the AFT participated in drafting Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox News reported in October 2021; Weingarten and the AFT were against reopening schools.
The teachers union president also visited Ukraine to advocate against online learning for Ukrainian students although she supported American students learning remotely during COVID-19.
Weingarten is also a proponent for rigorously regulating AI, commending Europe’s oversight of the technology.
“We have to figure out how to safeguard it, how to regulate it, what rules of the road need to happen nationally, legally,” Weingarten stated in June. “And frankly, Europe is well ahead of us in terms of doing this work.”
The lack of overly strict AI regulation compared to Europe provides the opportunity for the U.S. to lead advancement in this technology, experts previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The meeting will be the first of nine AI insight forums Schumer is hosting to help create bipartisan AI regulations, according to CNN Business.
The speakers who are not tech experts such as Weingarten and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President and CEO Maya Wiley were invited to attend before the first iteration of the list was publicized, the Post reported, citing an anonymous source. Wiley has come out against “algorithmic discrimination” in artificial intelligence.
Weingarten endorsed President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ administration for reelection in their 2024 campaign.
Furthermore, AFT recently pushed for teachers to lobby for gun control, the DCNF reported.
Schumer and AFT did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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