Politics

‘Should be concerned’: Congress opens up on new threats posed to US labor market

Congressional lawmakers told Fox News they’re concerned about how artificial Intelligence will impact the job market, but were unsure how to approach the issue.

“I don’t have answers,” Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat, said. “There’s no question AI is an incredibly disruptive technology, and we should be closely looking at the implications of it and how best to handle those implications.”

Republican Rep. Ben Cline said he was less concerned.

“New technologies have come and gone, and with them you have displacement, not necessarily jobs lost, but jobs added and jobs shifting,” he said. “For AI, my concern is less with job displacement and more with national security dangers and protecting that national security infrastructure from AI.”

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AI advancements could reduce or eliminate 300 million jobs globally, and could cause a “significant disruption” across labor markets, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis published in March.

Most restaurant jobs could be automated in the next five to 10 years, a tech CEO whose AI has placed over a million drive-through orders, told Fox News this week. Lawmakers have repeatedly voiced concern over AI

“I think AI is a danger. It does replace Americans’ jobs,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said. “This is where Congress—we have to work harder to figure out how to control this.”

“There’s many dangers to American jobs, not just AI. It’s people coming across the border, competition from other foreign countries,” the Georgia Republican continued. “We have to do everything we can to protect American jobs, including against AI.”

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Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida also said AI is a concern for workers. 

“When you’re trying to replace jobs, the American people should be concerned about that,” the Republican said. “With AI, I think there’s a lot of stuff that we need to study up on and get to know it very, very fast.”

House members from both parties told Fox News the country needs better education on AI to ensure the labor market is ready for next-generation jobs.

“Experts that were part of creating this technology say that it’s an existential threat to humanity,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat, told Fox News. “We might want to listen.”

Republican Rep. Mike Flood said the U.S. must prepare students for the skills needed in the digital generation, including AI coding. 

“We’re going to need a lot higher-skilled workers in the workforce, and that requires our educational system to step up,” Flood told Fox News. 

“Let’s work hard like we did when we decided we wanted to go to the moon and our entire nation put our strength behind it,” he said. “We need to do that now with our kids, get them the skills they need and, you know, be ready for 2030.”

To watch lawmakers’ full interviews, click here.

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