Federal Manager's Daily Report

Federal employees who acquire and manage artificial intelligence technology should be better trained on its capabilities and risks, according to a Senate report on a bill (S-2551) that calls on OMB, GSA and other agencies to develop and provide such training within one year of enactment.

“Although multiple executive orders have promoted the use of AI across the federal government, there has not been a concerted effort to train the civilian workforce that identifies, develops, buys, and manages AI capabilities to support the mission,” it says. “While informal groups exist, such as the General Services Administration’s AI Community of Practice,4 they are no substitute for a structured and ongoing program that ensures proper government adoption of AI.”

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“Market research predicts that the federal government will spend nearly $1 billion on AI by 2023, which will greatly increase productivity and improve engagement with the public if the federal workforce learns to use it effectively,” it adds.

The measure, now ready for a floor vote, outlines topics to be covered in the AI training program, including introductory concepts; the science underlying AI and how it works; benefits of AI for the federal government; the risks posed by AI and ways to mitigate these risks to ensure it is reliable, safe and trustworthy; and future trends in AI, including trends for homeland and national security and innovation.

The training would have to be updated at least every two years “in order to incorporate new information and ensure the program continues to satisfy requirements.”

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