United States: Bipartisan Bill Would Create Artificial Intelligence Strategy For U.S. Workforce

A bipartisan bill introduced on May 21, 2019 in the U.S. Senate seeks to prepare America's employers and workers for the 21st century economy by establishing a national Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy and investing $2.2 billion in new AI research centers. The Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (AI-IA) (S. 1558) resembles the national AI initiatives that nearly every other global economic power—including China, Japan, and most recently Germany—have launched during the past four years.

The AI-IA is sponsored by a bipartisan trio of senators: Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Brian Schatz (D-HI). The mission of the AI-IA-proposed initiative includes a heavy focus on ensuring the competitiveness of American employers and workers as the global economy is transformed by AI. The AI-IA seeks to:

support the development of a workforce pipeline for science and technology with respect to artificial intelligence by making strategic investments to—

(A) expand the number of researchers, educators, and students with training in science and technology related to artificial intelligence;

(B) increase the number of skilled and trained workers from underrepresented communities who can contribute to the development of artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence technology, diversify the artificial intelligence workforce, and expand the artificial intelligence workforce pipeline;

(C) promote the development and inclusion of multidisciplinary curricula and research opportunities for science and engineering with respect to artificial intelligence, including advanced technological education, during the primary, secondary, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, adult learning, and career retraining stages of education; and

(D) equip workers with the knowledge and skill sets required to operate effectively in occupations and workplaces that will be increasingly influenced by artificial intelligence.

To achieve these goals, the AI-IA proposes establishing three new bodies with interlocking missions to help advance the Initiative's objectives: an Interagency Committee on Artificial Intelligence; a National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee; and a National Artificial Intelligence Coordination Office.

The Interagency Committee would be composed of the heads of over a dozen federal agencies and departments involved in the development or public application of AI. The Interagency Committee's mission would be to coordinate federal agency activity relating to research and education on AI and to "establish objectives and priorities for the Initiative . . . based on identified knowledge and workforce gaps and other national needs."

The Advisory Committee, which would be established by the Director of the National Science Foundation, would consist of individuals who "shall collectively have expertise on a wide range of defense and non-defense artificial intelligence matters." The Advisory Committee's purpose would be to advise the Interagency Committee, both in terms of providing information on the state of the art and in advancing the Initiative's mission. The Coordination Office, in turn, would provide technical and administrative support to the Advisory Committee, and coordinate the Initiative's efforts with AI development work occurring at the state level, in academia, and in the private sector.

In addition to these new government bodies, the AI-IA proposes a substantial investment in up to 10 new federal research and development centers, five to be established by the Department of Energy and five more under the auspices of the new National AI Coordination Office. The 10 research centers would receive funding for five years, starting in 2020 and running through 2024. The five Department of Energy research centers would receive $300 million, or $60 million per research center per year ($1.5 billion total); and the research centers established by the Coordination Office would receive $100 million, or $20 million per research center per year ($500 million total). Despite its funding source, the goals of the Department of Energy research centers are quite broad and not limited to energy-sector research or applications.

Within 60 days after its enactment, the AI-IA would require the Coordination Office to contract with an existing federally funded research center to conduct a "Study on the Artificial Intelligence Workforce." The study would examine "the mechanisms that produce or contribute to the workforce in artificial intelligence (including researchers and specialists in artificial intelligence and users of artificial intelligence) in order to identify and develop actions to ensure an appropriate increase in the size, quality, and diversity of the workforce." The research center would collaborate with various federal agencies with access to relevant data, such as the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Census Bureau, as well as comparable state agencies, universities, industry, and other stakeholders.

At several points, the bill references broader ethical and legal considerations surrounding the development of AI, including issues relating to algorithmic bias and algorithmic accountability, as well as the well-recognized diversity and inclusion challenges that the AI industry faces today. The above-referenced study, for instance, would be tasked with facilitating "the sharing of best practices and approaches for increasing and retaining underrepresented populations in the artificial intelligence field," and at least one of the five multidisciplinary research and development centers would be at a federally recognized minority-serving institution, such as a historically black college or university or a tribal university.

The AI-IA represents by far the boldest and most promising step toward a comprehensive national AI strategy that the United States has seen to date. Nevertheless, employers should not be complacent. It is difficult to predict whether the bill, despite its bipartisan provenance, will receive serious consideration in the current session. Even if it were enacted, the federal government would be starting several years behind its international counterparts, and the bill does not allocate any funds for the greatly expanded vocational education and training programs that employers will need to access in order to remain competitive. Employers should therefore consider engaging with their trade associations and joining the Emma Coalition, whose mission is to help employers prepare themselves and their workforces for the imminent labor-market disruptions that AI will bring.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
McLane Middleton, Professional Association
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
McLane Middleton, Professional Association
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions