As one of its last actions before recessing through the holidays, the Senate approved a bill (S-2551) to boost training for federal employees who acquire and manage artificial intelligence technology on its capabilities and risks.
Topics would include 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.
OMB and GSA would be primarily responsible to develop and provide such training within one year of enactment, and the training would have to be updated at least every two years to incorporate new information.
“In order to use artificial intelligence properly and in a way that ensures our nation can compete with our foreign adversaries, federal workers need to understand the technical and ethical implications of these technologies for the safety, security, and freedoms of Americans,” said a statement from sponsors. “This important bill will help our government better understand artificial intelligence and ensure we are using it in a manner that is consistent with American values and our democracy.”
The bill reflects a recommendation by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which raised concerns about possible misuse of the technology while also citing its potential for making government operations more efficient.