U.S. Senators propose $2.2B bill to maintain AI leadership
The U.S. Government could spend $2.2 billion on advancing artificial intelligence over the next five years if a new law proposed by three senators from either side of the aisle is approved. NextGov reports that the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (AI-IA) is intended to answer China’s challenge for the top spot in international AI leadership.
Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the Act, which aims to boost AI applications in government, academia, and the private sector over the next 10 years. Heinrich and Portman also announced the formation of the bipartisan Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus to consider the implications of the transformative technology in March.
The AI-IA would establish a National AI Coordination Office, an AI Interagency Committee, and an AI Advisory Committee of non-governmental experts to develop a National Strategic Plan for AI research and development, and to facilitate coordination within the government. It would also give NIST $40 million a year to identify metrics to use in standards for AI algorithm evaluation, and the quality of training data sets. The National Science Foundation (NSF) would formulate related educational goals, and fund both technical and social impact research through the creation of up to five new “Multidisciplinary Centers for Artificial Intelligence Research and Education.” One of the centers will prioritize K-12 education, one will serve minorities, and all will have a lifelong education component, at a total cost of $500 million. The Department of Energy would also be required to create an AI research program, with up to five Artificial Intelligence Research Centers at colleges and national laboratories, for a total cost of $1.5 billion.
“China’s emergence in the AI space poses a grave danger to an ethical, global adoption of standards and uses of these technologies,” Heinrich told reporters during a conference call, NextGov reports. “We simply cannot allow this type of unethical use of technologies to proliferate around the globe. That’s what will happen if we don’t step up our efforts here domestically.”