Reps. McNerney and Meadows Introduce Legislation to Advance Federal Government’s AI Adoption

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Washington, DC – Congressmen Jerry McNerney (CA-09) and Mark Meadows (NC-11) introduced the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Act (H.R. 2575), which enhances and streamlines tools and resources for the federal government’s adoption of AI.

This legislation empowers the General Services Administration (GSA) to assist in the federal government’s use of AI and creates new avenues for federal agencies to hire AI talent. Additionally, the legislation directs federal agencies to develop governance plans to promote government uses of AI that benefit the public and mitigate bias and other negative unintended consequences.

“The work of the federal government impacts every single American,” said Congressman McNerney. “As federal agencies adopt AI technology, it’s critical that they do so in a responsible way, and that they are equipped with the expertise and tools they need to succeed. That’s why this legislation is crucial. It will help the federal government to harness the full potential of AI while also identifying and reducing potential harmful effects.”

“Congress should take every opportunity to make government more effective and efficient as we work to better serve Americans everywhere,” said Congressman Meadows. “This bill takes an important step in streamlining federal policies to keep America a leader in applying AI technology. We believe AI will become increasingly important for innovations both within and outside government, and I want to thank Rep. McNerney of California for his bipartisan work on this critical initiative. Importantly, this bill prioritizes protecting the privacy of American citizens and directs the federal government to redouble its efforts to ensure the development of AI is safe and beneficial across all parts of our government and our country.”

H.R. 2575 would:

  • create a Center of Excellence at the GSA to provide technical expertise to relevant government agencies; conduct forward-looking, original research on federal AI policy; and promote U.S. competitiveness through agency and industry cooperation;
  • establish a multistakeholder advisory board to address AI policy opportunities and challenges for executive agencies;
  • direct agencies that use or anticipate using AI to publish governance plans that will advance innovative uses and reduce barriers to AI for the benefit of the public while upholding civil liberties, privacy, and civil rights; and
  • directs the Office of Personnel Management to identify skills and competencies for AI and establish a new or update an existing occupational series.

The AI in Government Act has been endorsed by BSA | The Software Alliance, Center for Democracy and Technology, Center for Data Innovation, Committee for Justice, Data Coalition, Engine, Facebook, Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Internet Association, Lincoln Network, Microsoft, and Facebook.

Center for Democracy and Technology

“As both an adopter and regulator of artificial intelligence systems, it is crucial that the federal government consider how its own uses of AI would allow the federal government to offer services in better and smarter ways, support and improve AI research, and avoid pitfalls like bias in automated decisions. In so doing, federal agencies can also establish a model for ensuring that AI and automated systems are developed and deployed in ways that maximize the benefits and minimize the risks to impacted people. CDT applauds the “AI in Government Act” and hopes it can bring about a comprehensive approach to representing the public interest as the government adopts and deploys new technologies.” – Chris Calabrese, Vice President, Policy, Center for Democracy and Technology

BSA | The Software Alliance

“BSA applauds the leadership of Congressmen McNerney and Meadows in introducing the AI in Government Act. The bill would provide opportunities for every government agency to leverage AI to improve constituent services and help them fulfill their mission. We look forward to working with Congress to pass this legislation.” – Craig Albright, Vice President of Legislative Strategy, BSA | The Software Alliance

Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers

“On behalf of America’s tech workers, IEEE-USA fully supports the AI in Government Act. This important bill will help the US government to capture the promise of artificial intelligence for the American public,” – Dr. Tom Coughlin, IEEE-USA president

Engine

“The Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Act will improve the implementation and use of AI across the federal government by providing much needed entrepreneurial expertise about how the emerging tech can best be used for the public interest. This legislation will bring entrepreneurs and federal agencies together to discuss the most effective ways for the government to adopt and utilize artificial intelligence. AI startups are already driving innovation across the country, and this legislation ensures that their successes will help guide the smart and responsible use of artificial intelligence across the federal government.”  – Evan Engstrom, Executive Director of Engine

Data Coalition

“The AI in Government Act of 2019 is a common-sense approach to promoting responsible, transparent use of emerging technologies and artificial intelligence systems in our society. The Data Coalition applauds the proposal to encourage innovative and rigorous data analysis capabilities for improved decision-making, while facilitating equitable uses and appropriate privacy protections.” – Nick Hart, Ph.D., CEO, Data Coalition

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.