AFT’s Weingarten Calls for AI Guardrails, Smart Regulation to Ensure New Technology Benefits All
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after attending today’s AI Insight Forum hosted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:
“It was an honor to represent educators, other workers and families at today’s forum to discuss the artificial intelligence technology that holds so much promise for America but also presents serious concerns for democracy and humankind. If we want to harness that promise, we need both innovation and commonsense safeguards.
“Both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Mike Rounds agreed that with rapid growth comes huge responsibility. Just as safety protections drove the expansion of the airline industry, the same holds true for AI.
“We’re concerned about worker displacement and inequity, but with the right regulation there’s also potential for new jobs and career pathways, starting in high school.
“Seventy-one percent of educators use education technology every day in the classroom. We’re not Luddites. AI is a game-changer, but teachers and other workers need to be coaches in the game.
“That’s why we can’t make the same mistake we made when we failed to act after social media’s damaging impact on kids’ mental health became clear.
“AI needs to supplement, not supplant, educators, and special care must be taken to prevent harm to students. In that way, we can seize the future together.”
# # # #
The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.