Sep 11 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Thom Tillis and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) recently sent a letter to Acting National Cyber Director (ONCD) Kemba Walden urging the White House to provide updates on efforts to reduce artificial intelligence’s (AI) potential threat to the nation’s cyber infrastructure, while expressing concerns about vulnerabilities to compromising critical data.

“Our country will benefit enormously from broadening the technical skills across our workforce by making software development more accessible and secure,” the senators wrote

“However, bad actors can also leverage generative AI technology to accelerate their attempts to undermine established cybersecurity protections. As a result, attackers could profit by stealing money, data, and intellectual property from everyday Americans and the small businesses that power our economy,” the senators continued. 

In their letter, the senators offer a number of questions:

  • How can defenders of critical infrastructure leverage AI to secure their systems?
  • What recommendations do you have for private and public industries who may fall victim to adversarial AI-enabled Cyberattacks?
  • How is ONCD tracking AI-enabled cyberattacks by foreign adversaries or nonstate actors?
  • Is ONCD preparing any strategic plans for state and local governments to help prevent AI-enabled cyberattacks? 

The senators’ letter comes as Congress is working to develop guardrails for AI. While the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act invests in AI-related research and development programs and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 established the National AI Initiative, the letter goes further to urge increased coordination between the White House and Congress.

Read the full letter HERE