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US Senators Present AI Strategy, Call for Funding Surge

 |  May 15, 2024

In a bid to bolster America’s leadership in artificial intelligence (AI) innovation, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, spearheaded by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, has advocated for a substantial increase in government research funding. The move comes as legislators grapple with the need for new legal safeguards to navigate the implications of AI advancements.

Generative AI, capable of producing text, images and videos based on open-ended prompts, has ignited both excitement and apprehension. Concerns loom over its potential to render jobs obsolete, disrupt electoral processes and even surpass human capabilities, raising fears of catastrophic consequences.

Schumer, along with Republican senators Mike Rounds and Todd Young and Democrat Martin Heinrich, unveiled a comprehensive roadmap aimed at addressing the complex challenges arising from AI’s rapid progression. Drawing on expert insights, the senators emphasized the urgency of the matter.

Read more: Colorado Makes History: First State to Enact Comprehensive AI Legislation

Central to their proposal is a commitment to ramp up government funding for non-defense AI innovation, with a targeted annual investment of at least $32 billion. Highlighting the competitive landscape, Rounds underscored the significant gap between U.S. investment and China’s substantial AI expenditure, urging swift action to maintain America’s edge.

Schumer echoed these sentiments, characterizing the proposed funding as essential “surge emergency funding” to solidify America’s supremacy in AI and outcompete rival nations like China. Emphasizing the critical role of AI in national security, senators are also deliberating on substantial allocations for defense-related AI initiatives.

The senators’ plan encompasses a wide-ranging cross-government AI research and development initiative, featuring an ambitious “AI-ready data” program and enhanced infrastructure for AI testing and evaluation within government agencies. They touted AI’s transformative potential in healthcare, transportation, and education, envisioning a future where AI eradicates diseases, alleviates traffic congestion, and revolutionizes personalized learning for students nationwide.

Source: Reuters