Senate Study Suggests 'at Least' $32 Billion a Year for AI Programs | TechCrunch - Latest Global News

Senate Study Suggests ‘at Least’ $32 Billion a Year for AI Programs | TechCrunch

A long-running Senate working group has issued its policy recommendation for federal funding for AI: $32 billion a year, covering everything from infrastructure to grand challenges to national security risk assessment.

This “roadmap” is not a bill or detailed policy proposal, but it still gives a sense of the scale lawmakers and “stakeholders” are looking at as they get to reality – although the likelihood is that this will happen during an election year happens, very high is infinitesimal.

In a final report released by the office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the bipartisan working group identified key areas of investment to keep the U.S. competitive with its rivals abroad.

Here are some of the key points of the roadmap:

  • “A cross-government AI research and development effort, including relevant infrastructure,” means getting the DOE, NSF, NIST, NASA, Commerce, and half a dozen other agencies and departments to format data in AI-friendly ways and exchange. In some ways, this relatively simple-sounding task is the most daunting of all and will likely take years to complete.
  • Fund American AI hardware and software work at the semiconductor and architectural levels, both through the CHIPS Act and elsewhere.
  • Further funding and expansion of the National AI Research Resource, which is still in its infancy.
  • “Grand AI Challenges” to drive innovation through competition in “applications of AI that would fundamentally change the process of science, engineering or medicine, and on fundamental issues in safe and efficient software and hardware design.”
  • “Support AI readiness and cybersecurity” in elections, particularly to “curb AI-generated content that is objectively false while protecting First Amendment rights.” Probably harder than it sounds!
  • “Modernize the federal government and improve the delivery of government services” by “updating IT infrastructure to leverage modern data science and AI technologies and leveraging new technologies to address inefficiencies in U.S. code, federal regulations, and.” the procurement programs.” I understand what you’re saying here, but that’s far too much to despise for an AI program.
  • Lots of vague but big defense-related stuff like “assessment and mitigation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) AI-enabled threats by DOD, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DOE and other relevant agencies.”
  • Look at the “regulatory gap” in finance and housing, where AI-driven processes can be used to further marginalize vulnerable groups.
  • “Consider whether other potential uses of AI should be either extremely restricted or banned.” After a section on potentially harmful things like AI-driven social scores.
  • Legislation to ban AI-generated child sexual abuse material and other non-consensual images and media.
  • Ensure NIH, HHS, and FDA have the tools necessary to evaluate AI tools in healthcare and medical applications.
  • “Establishing a coherent approach to publicly available transparency requirements for AI systems”, private and public.
  • Improve the general availability of “content lineage” information, i.e. training data. What was used to make a model? Do you use the model to further train it? And so forth. AI manufacturers will fight this tooth and nail until they can adequately clean up the ill-gotten data they used to develop today’s AIs.
  • Check out the risks and benefits of using private AI versus open source AI (should the latter ever exist in a scalable form).

You can read the full report here; There are many more bullet points that the above list comes from (a longer list than I would have expected). No budget figures are suggested.

Given that the next six months will be largely devoted to election-related chatter, this document serves more to disseminate a lot of general ideas than to advance actual legislation. Much of what is proposed would require months, if not years, of research and iteration before a law or rule comes into being.

The AI ​​industry is evolving faster than the rest of the tech sector, meaning it is outperforming the federal government by several orders of magnitude. While the priorities listed above are mostly sensible, one wonders how many of them will remain relevant until Congress or the White House actually takes action.

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