Last week, another notable AI milestone occurred. Fresh off the heels of the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Federal Banking Agencies’ recent initiative that urged financial services organizations to implement “innovative approaches” like AI to better combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other illicit financial threats, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act.

The bipartisan legislation represents a coordinated, national strategy for developing AI and will provide a $2.2 billion federal investment over five years to “build an AI-ready workforce, accelerating the responsible delivery of AI applications for government agencies, academia and the private sector over the next 10 years.” More specifically, the bill plans to:

  • Establish a National AI Coordination Office, an AI Interagency Committee across federal departments, and an AI Advisory Committee comprised of non-governmental experts to develop a National Strategic Plan for AI research and development and facilitate coordination across government agencies.
  • Require the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) to identify metrics to establish standards for evaluating AI algorithms and their effectiveness, as well as the quality of training data sets.
  • Require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish educational goals for addressing algorithm accountability, explainability, data bias, privacy as well as societal and ethical implications of AI. NSF will also fund research on both the technical and educational aspects of AI and its effect on society by awarding to up to five new “Multidisciplinary Centers for Artificial Intelligence Research and Education.”
  • Require the Department of Energy (DOE) to create an AI research program and build state-of-the-art computing facilities that will be made available first and foremost to government and academic AI researchers, but also to private sector users on a cost-recovery basis as practicable.

Many businesses are spending exorbitant amounts of time and money on what they think is AI, yet in reality failing to reap any of the benefits of true unsupervised learning technology. This legislation is desperately needed. If passed, here’s hoping the bill helps ensure the U.S. remains a long-term leader in AI, and even more importantly, that it drives better education and coordination of our country’s research and development efforts on truly autonomous AI systems.
To read a full version of the bill, click here.