Gardner, Schatz Introduce Legislation to Improve Federal Government’s Use of Artificial Intelligence

Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Act, legislation that would improve the use of AI across the federal government by providing resources and directing federal agencies to include AI in data-related planning. 

“While C-3PO isn’t yet a reality in today’s world, artificial intelligence certainly is,” said Senator Gardner. “Our bill will bring agencies, industry, and others to the table to discuss government adoption of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. We need a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges these technologies present for federal government use and this legislation would put us on the path to achieve that goal.”

“The United States won’t have the global competitive edge in AI if our own government isn’t making the most of these technologies,” said Senator Schatz. “This bill will give the federal government the resources it needs to hire experts, do research, and work across federal agencies to use AI technologies in smart and effective ways.” 

“Artificial intelligence will have significant impacts for our country, economy, and society,” said Senator Portman. “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 to introduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure our government understands the benefits and pitfalls of this technology as it engages in a responsible, accountable rollout of AI.”

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to benefit society in ways we cannot imagine today,” said Senator Harris. “We already see its immense value in applications as diverse as diagnosing cancer to routing vehicles. The AI in Government Act gives the federal government the tools and resources it needs to build its expertise and in partnership with industry and academia. The bill will help develop the policies to ensure that society reaps the benefits of these emerging technologies, while protecting people from potential risks, such as biases in AI.”

The Artificial Intelligence in Government Act does the following: 

·      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.