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Reps. McNerney & Burgess Introduce AI Legislation to Help Promote Consumer Product Safety

Aug 31, 2020
Press Release

Stockton, CA – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) and Congressman Michael Burgess (TX-26) introduced H.R. 8128, the AI for Consumer Product Safety Act – legislation directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish a pilot program for the agency to use artificial intelligence (AI) in furtherance of its mission to protect consumers from unsafe products.

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional AI Caucus, one of my top priorities has been to help expand AI adoption within the federal government by ensuring federal agencies have the expertise and tools they need to succeed,” said Congressman McNerney. “I’ve heard firsthand from CPSC commissioners that artificial intelligence would improve the ability of the Commission to advance consumer product safety and better serve the American public. This bill would build on my previously introduced legislation, the AI in Government Act, and is an important first step toward exploring the potential for AI in this area. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Congressman Burgess.”

“In today’s world consumers have more choices than ever but it can be hard to know if a product is safe,” Congressman Burgess said. “Artificial Intelligence is the frontier of technology, and it is time that the Consumer Product Safety Commission is able to join the future by using AI to help in assisting the safety of products for the consumer. We have the innovation and ingenuity to expand on this helpful technology to protect consumers, families, and children.”

The bill would require that the pilot program use AI for at least one of the following purposes:

  • tracking trends with respect to injuries involving consumer products
  • identifying consumer product hazards
  • monitoring the retail marketplace, including internet websites, for the sale of recalled consumer products (both new and used products)
  • identifying consumer products required by section 17(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act to be refused admission into the customs territory of the United States

In carrying out the pilot, the AI for Consumer Product Safety Act directs the CPSC to consult with a range of individuals and entities, including technologists, data scientists, experts in AI and machine learning, cybersecurity experts, members of the retail industry, consumer product manufactures, and consumer product safety organizations. The bill further requires that the agency produce a report to Congress no later than 180 days after the conclusion of the pilot with findings on whether and the extent to which the use of AI improved the ability of the agency to advance its consumer product safety mission.

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.