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May 20, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Bipartisan group of U.S. Senators issues AI policy roadmap

The document is sponsored by two Democratic and two Republican Senators.

SSTI reports that a bipartisan group of senators has published a document titled “Driving U.S. Innovation in Artificial Intelligence: A Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Policy in the United States Senate.”

Released last week, it is a roadmap that encourages the executive branch and the Senate Appropriations Committee to reach the $32 billion per year non-defense artificial intelligence (AI) innovation spending level proposed by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

It also includes a list of recommendations for legislation to regulate artificial intelligence. The recommendations include prioritizing funding for a cross-government AI R&D effort at all relevant government agencies and departments. The recommendation mentions explicitly an all-of-government AI-ready data initiative. It also directs research priorities in “responsible innovation, including but not limited to fundamental and applied sciences, such as biotechnology, advanced computing, robotics, and materials science.”

The recommendations point to “funding the outstanding CHIPS and Science Act accounts not yet fully funded, particularly those related to AI, including but not limited to” specific programs. They include the:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships;
  • Department of Commerce Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs);
  • Department of Energy (DOE) National Labs through the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program in the DOE Office of Science;
  • DOE Microelectronics Programs; and
  • NSF Education and Workforce Programs, including the Advanced Technical Education (ATE) Program.

In addition, the roadmap stresses the necessity for “funding, as needed, for the DOC, DOE, NSF, and Department of Defense (DOD) to support semiconductor R&D specific to the design and manufacturing of future generations of high-end AI chips.”

The roadmap does not provide a timeline for implementing the recommended legislation. However, The New York Times reported Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said during a media briefing, “What we’d expect is that we would have some bills that certainly pass the Senate and hopefully pass the House by the end of the year.” He is one of the sponsors along with Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), a former Governor; Martin Heinrich (D-NM); and Todd Young (R-IN).

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