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Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Artificial intelligence measure included in must-pass government funding deal

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A group of lawmakers recently touted the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Act, which was included in the must-pass government funding deal and set to become law.

Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said the legislation ensures the use of AI across the federal government is effective, ethical, and accountable by providing resources and guidance to federal agencies.

“We need to get smart on AI if we want to have a competitive edge against the rest of the world in the next decade,” Schatz, ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, said. “That starts with making sure the federal government is using AI technology ethically and effectively. With our bill set to become law, we will now be able to coordinate AI strategy so that all federal agencies can take full advantage of these new technologies and do so in a responsible way.”

The Act’s provisions include expanding an office within the General Services Administration to provide technical expertise to relevant government agencies; conducting forward-looking research on federal AI policy; promoting domestic competitiveness through agency and industry cooperation; establishing an advisory board to address AI policy opportunities and challenges for executive agencies; and directing the Office of Management and Budget to establish a strategy for investing and using AI as part of the federal data strategy.

“Artificial intelligence is an emerging frontier, and the United States has a responsibility to ensure our government is using this technology ethically and efficiently,” Peters, ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a founding member of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, said. “I am thrilled this bipartisan measure will become law so government employees and agencies can utilize this innovative technology.”