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Heinrich Files Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act as Amendment to Defense Bill

Bipartisan amendment would coordinate and fund AI developments with $2.2 billion investment.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, co-founder of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, filed the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (AI-IA) as an amendment to the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) are cosponsors of the amendment.

The amendment is the text of S. 1558, the AI-IA, which would organize a coordinated national strategy for developing AI and provide a $2.2 billion federal investment over five years to build an AI-ready workforce, accelerating the responsible delivery of AI applications from government agencies, academia, and the private sector.

“We filed this amendment because we need to act with a sense of urgency and purpose. Artificial intelligence – and the opportunities and challenges it will bring – are becoming seemingly inevitable, and they will have national security implications," said Heinrich. "If we defer AI development to other nations, important ethical, safety, and privacy principles will be at risk, which not only harms the United States, but also the international community as a whole. The AI-IA would put into place policy, people, and potential for this new market to truly take transportation, health care, manufacturing, and national security to the next stage of opportunity.”

Heinrich added, “China's emergence in the AI space poses a danger to an ethical global adoption of standards and uses of these technologies. They are not a free market economy that respect civil liberties and privacy the way that our country does. We can already see the danger posed by this in the Chinese use of AI and mass surveillance technologies in their oppression of minority Uighurs in western China. We simply cannot allow this type of unethical use of AI technology to proliferate around the globe or to certainly take root here. That's what'll happen unless we step up our efforts here domestically.”

To view the AI-IA as an amendment to the NDAA, click here.

To view a list of AI related provisions that Senator Heinrich secured in the 2020 NDAA,click here