WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced that their Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Act was included as part of the must-pass government funding deal and is set to become law. The AI in Government Act will ensure that the use of AI across the federal government is effective, ethical, and accountable by providing resources and guidance to federal agencies.

Senator Schatz, the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet said:
“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. 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.”

Senator Portman, Co-Chair of the Senate AI Caucus said: “Artificial intelligence will have significant impacts on our country, economy, and society. Ensuring that our government has the capabilities and expertise to help navigate those impacts will be important in the coming years and decades. I’m pleased this important bipartisan legislation was included in the FY 2021 bipartisan funding package passed by the House. It will ensure our government understands the benefits and pitfalls of this technology as it engages in a responsible, accountable rollout of AI, and I urge my colleagues to support it when it comes to the floor for a vote.”

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

The AI in Government Act, which is expected to pass the House and the Senate today and quickly be signed into law, will:

  • expand an office within the General Services Administration to provide technical expertise to relevant government agencies; conduct forward-looking, original research on federal AI policy; and promote U.S. competitiveness through agency and industry cooperation;
  • establish an advisory board to address AI policy opportunities and challenges for executive agencies;
  • direct the Office of Management and Budget to establish a strategy for investing and using AI as part of the federal data strategy; and
  • direct the Office of Personnel Management to identify skills and competencies for AI and establish a new or update an existing occupational series.

The bill was first introduced by Senators Schatz, Gardner, and Portman in 2018.

Source: Press Release
Date: Monday, December 21, 2020