U.S. Senators propose legislation to fund national AI strategy


U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) today proposed the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act, legislation to pump $2.2 billion into federal research and development and create a national AI strategy. The $2.2 billion would be doled out over the course of the next 5 years to federal agencies like the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others. The legislation would establish a National AI Coordination Office to lead federal AI efforts, require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the effects of AI on society and education, and allocate $40 million a year to NIST to create AI evaluation standards. The bill would also include $20 million a year from 2020-2024 to fund the creation of 5 multidisciplinary AI research centers, with one focused solely on K-12 education. Plans to open national AI centers in the bill closely resembles plans from the 20-year AI research program proposed by the Computing Consortium.