December 15, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), co-founders of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, announced that two of their bipartisan pieces of legislation to strengthen the U.S. government’s artificial intelligence (AI) readiness, support long-term investments in AI ethics and safety research, and increase governmental AI transparency, have passed as part of the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“When Congress created the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence it was with the expectation that the Commission provide Congress with the ideas to keep the United States as the world’s AI leader. I am pleased to say that the Commission has delivered,” said Portman. “I am pleased that these important pieces of legislation have been included in the FY 2022 NDAA so that we can continue to implement the good ideas that the Commission has spent so long developing. Ensuring that AI is trustworthy and transparent, and that our warfighters are skilled in the nuances of emerging technology are common sense priorities.”
“Artificial intelligence presents both opportunities and challenges for our nation’s security and we need to be prepared for both,” said Heinrich. “Senator Portman and I have worked together to pass several bipartisan solutions that put into place the right policy and people in these emerging technologies. Now, it’s time to build off of that momentum and strengthen the federal government’s AI capabilities while also increasing the public’s trust in this technology. By transparently boosting our federal digital workforce and talent recruitment, we send a clear signal to the world – and our adversaries – that we are prepared to take AI head on.”
The first, Artificial Intelligence Capabilities and Transparency (AICT) Act, would implement recommendations of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence’s (NSCAI) final report. Congress established the NSCAI through the Fiscal Year 2019 NDAA order to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development and improve the government’s use of AI and related technology.
The AICT Act will increase the federal government’s AI capabilities by improving talent recruitment and enabling agencies to adopt new AI technology more quickly while providing increased transparency and accountability for the government’s AI systems.
The second, Artificial Intelligence for the Military (AIM) Act, operationalizes additional recommendations made by the NSCAI that relate to the military’s technology workforce. Specifically, the bill requires training on AI topics and their national security implications for senior military and civilian leaders at the Pentagon.