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Senate Bills Aim to Grow Federal Tech-Ready Workforce—and the Government’s Transparency About its AI Use

Two new proposals have been introduced to the Senate that aim to accelerate the study, fielding, and purchase of artificial intelligence capabilities across different government agencies and the military. The legislation also looks to ensure that the government is transparent about its deployments of the technology, which can be contentious due to privacy and security risks. It also seeks to confront expertise gaps in the federal workforce. The legislation has been named the Provisions in Artificial Intelligence Capabilities and Transparency, (AICT Act) and the Artificial Intelligence for the Military (AIM Act), and was introduced by Senators Rob Portman and Martin Heinrich.

The legislation looks to incorporate recommendations made by the Congressionally-mandated National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Although AI adoption has been on the rise for several years, its uses range across the government. The National Institute of Standards and Technology would be required to create an accreditation assessment program that certifies an organization’s ability to review AI systems used by the FBI, intelligence community, and Defense and Energy departments. This assessment would include pinpointing specific privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties impacts on the US public, ensuring that no harm is inflicted as a result of increased usage of AI. As the technology becomes more widely used, it is critical that measures are put in place to maintain the privacy and security of the public.

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