On November 1, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, attended Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) third forum on artificial intelligence (AI), the AI Insight Forum on Workforce.
Gaspard’s statement from the forum is available on Sen. Schumer’s website and on CAP’s website. Statements from Sen. Schumer and other forum participants can be found here.
Gaspard emphasized the importance of centering worker and civil rights in the AI era. To this end, he highlighted five tools that can help spread employment and mitigate shocks to the workforce spurred by the implementation of AI:
- Reducing workers’ average hours through new paid leave requirements, strengthened overtime protections, or even a shortened four-day work week
- Putting in place new rules or incentives to keep employers from laying off workers
- Implementing a targeted job guarantee to essentially act as an employer of last resort during a transition period
- Passing a long-overdue transformation of the unemployment insurance system into a true safety net, learning from the lessons of COVID-19
- Adapting tax policy
This statement is part of CAP’s broader commitment to integrating federal civil rights protections and safety mechanisms into the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence.
Gaspard’s statement concludes:
I hope that we can come together to address the challenges and opportunities of AI on real people, their jobs, and their livelihoods. This is a technology poised to disrupt every sector and one that will not be isolated to red or blue districts, blue collar versus white collar, or urban versus rural. Congress is going to shape the ways in which AI affects workers—the choice is just if you do so through action or inaction. Congress should choose action.