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A Group Of Lawmakers Take Another Shot At Improving Federal Government’s AI Use

Last year, a group of senators tried to encourage the government to hop in on regulating the use of AI with the Artificial Intelligence In Government Act. The press release noted the bill would seek to “improve the use of AI across the federal government by providing resources and directing federal agencies to include AI in data-related planning.”

Although the original bill ended up stalling, it’s now been re-introduced by the same people: Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Similar to before, the bill would hand out tasks to different government branches who’ll begin exploring and implementing the use of AI. For example, Engadget reported that the Office of Management and Budget would have to figure out strategies for using AI for federal data.

An advisory board would be developed to tackle AI policy, Engadget added. Meanwhile, executive agencies would have to create plans that encourage the adoption of AI, while still protecting privacy and civil liberties.

“We can’t continue to lead the world in AI technology if our own government isn’t making the most of it,” Schatz said, according to FedScoop. “Our 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.”

Given that last year’s bill stalled out, there’s not a lot of high hopes around for this one. However, it does have pretty big backers, including the Internet Association — an industry trade group representing internet companies whose founders include Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

In a press release, the internet companies said they “appreciate” the senators for reintroducing the bill.

“This bill, which complements the recent executive order aimed at ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in AI developments, ensures that the public and private sector collaborate as the government prepares to take the lead on AI,” the Internet Association wrote.

If this bill passes, it would definitely change the way that AI is approached by the federal government.