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US Senate AI Insights Forum
Opening Statements

Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of Humane Intelligence

My name is Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO and co-Founder of the tech nonprofit Humane Intelligence. Along with my co-founder and COO Mrs. Jutta Williams, we represent an independent technical organization creating applied solutions for AI model access and public evaluation. We’ve also created and led teams inside several of the companies present today in the fields of privacy, security, and ethics.

As Congress considers AI regulation, innovation and governance, we offer the following considerations. 


Artificial intelligence is not inherently neutral, trustworthy, nor beneficial. This technology is not a mystery, it is not magic, and it is not alive. While it has immense capability, like many other high-potential technologies, it can also be used for harm by both malicious and well-intentioned actors. Concerted and directed effort is needed to ensure this technology is used to support and advance human interests. In support of innovation, we can help the AI industry to flourish by establishing boundaries, not barriers.


To bolster the trustworthiness of and advances in AI innovation, Congress needs to support a collaborative ecosystem of technical oversight and governance - one that includes independent parties, not just companies and government. Today, we have few methods for independent access to data and code by trusted parties. 


Humane Intelligence’s mission is to create a vibrant and robust independent technical community that completes the ecosystem of AI governance. We have demonstrated that it is possible to create AI model oversight that is a cooperative effort between industry, government, and civil society. We led the largest-ever generative AI evaluation exercise leading a collaboration between Google, Meta, NVIDIA, Anthropic, OpenAI, Cohere, Hugging Face, Stability alongside the White House OSTP and NIST. Twenty-two hundred people generated 17,000 evaluations on 21 topics over 2.5 days. 


All humans can contribute to improved algorithms. Traditionally, companies that produce algorithms employ specialized teams that work behind closed doors to solve problems.  Diverse issues with large-scale models are best solved by having more, diverse people contributing to solutions. An independent third party industry enables the public to shape innovation, by creating a structured feedback loop to support a robust AI governance system. 


Our call to action -  fund and support grass-roots, independent applied technical initiatives like ours.

September 13, 2023, US Senate AI Insights Forum

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