Lawmakers discuss future of artificial intelligence during House Majority Policy hearing

Testimony featured from tech experts, medical professionals, educators

HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – Artificial intelligence was the topic of vast discussion at a House Majority Policy Committee hearing Tuesday morning, including how it’s already impacting everyday life and what comes next.

The hearing was hosted by Reps. Chris Pielli (D-Chester), Bob Merski (D-Erie), and Jenn O’Mara (D-Delaware). It featured testimony from tech experts, medical professionals, and educators who discussed the different ways in which artificial intelligence has influenced their fields, and how they’re preparing to utilize it in the future.

“As we delve into the world of artificial intelligence, it is crucial that we acknowledge not only the immense potential, but also the very real and pressing concerns that accompany this transformative technology,” said Pielli. “Conversations like these can help us craft thoughtful policies that promote innovation while safeguarding the interests, rights, and well-being of our constituents.”

Tyler Clark, Director of State and Government Affairs at Microsoft, kicked off Tuesday’s hearing by testifying about Microsoft’s use of artificial intelligence, specifically about programs available to the public. Members like Merski noted AI’s uses for good, but also pointed out the ways it can be used nefariously.

“Artificial intelligence can be fun and useful, but it can also be dangerous. People can do things now with AI that they’ve never been able to before,” said Merski. “We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect consumers from the criminal and villainous uses of AI.”

Tuesday’s hearing also featured testimony from Dr. Chandan Sen and Dr. Deeptankar Demazumder, both representing the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. They testified how AI can be used positively in the medical field, from diagnosing diseases years in advance to filling prescriptions. Dr. Richard Burns of West Chester University, Samuel Hodge Jr. of Temple University, and Michael Soskil, an elementary STEM teacher at Wallenpaupack South Elementary School rounded out the hearing by testifying about various AI uses in classrooms and everyday life.

“The future is going to involve artificial intelligence one way or another, so we need to make sure we’re handling this correctly,” said House Majority Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie). “Clearly, there are both helpful and harmful effects of AI. The testimony we heard today will help us make informed decisions in the future on how we can help maximize the positive and minimize the negative through legislation.”

Tuesday’s hearing can be viewed in its entirety here, while testimony can be found here. More information about this hearing and other House Majority Policy Committee hearings can be found at