Senator Files AI Initiative Act as Amendment to NDAA

A newly filed amendment to the defense bill provides a $2.2 billion investment to cultivate an artificial intelligence-ready workforce.

Sen. Martin Heinrich on June 18 filed the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act as an amendment to the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, are cosponsoring the amendment.

The amendment is the text of Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act, which sets out to organize a national strategy for developing AI and provide a $2.2 billion federal investment over five years to build an AI-ready workforce. It would also speed up “responsible delivery” of AI applications from the public and private sectors as well as academia.

Heinrich, who’s co-founder of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, said in a statement the amendment was filed “because we need to act with a sense of urgency and purpose.” Leaving AI development up to other countries would put ethical, safety and privacy principles at risk, he said.

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