Document Type



Master of Arts


Political Science

First Adviser

Janet Laible



Under a democratic political system, citizens expect their representatives to promote and protect their interests. Simultaneously, citizens hold their elected officials accountable for defending national interests. While the public has traditionally held federal officials accountable for regulating science and technology (S&T) industry, the widespread development and implementation of Internet services in the 1990’s raised questions among the public of who is truly responsible for protecting cybersecurity interests (Neal, et al., 2011, p. 36). Recently, the 2016 American presidential election has augmented public concerns over cybersecurity and data privacy with respect to artificial intelligence (AI) technology (Berger & Pappas, 2018, p. 1). In response to security concerns emerging regarding developing AI technologies, this report explores how federal policymakers may begin discussing how to regulate emerging AI technologies to assign legal responsibility for when such technologies do not perform as intended, and cause social, political, or economic harms. In this report, I review the benefits and drawbacks of federal policymaking procedures for S&T issues in the United States, with specific emphasis on who is responsible for writing congressional S&T policies. My analysis of the successes and failures of past congressional S&T policies indicates that partisan interests and the complexities of the federal policymaking process in the United States inhibit the creation of comprehensive and long-term S&T legislation. I determine that federal policymaking in the United States must become both more centralized and decentralized, simultaneously, so that federal lawmakers may begin discussing how to establish regulatory policies for the design and implementation of AI technologies.