During the last weeks of the 116th Congress, H.R. 1250, a non-binding resolution to pursue a national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, has passed the House.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Reps. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Will Hurd, R-Texas, includes 78 actions centered around four pillars – Workforce Development, National Security, Research and Development, and Ethical Use – to guide the creation of a national AI strategy

“This resolution clearly articulates U.S. priorities for a U.S. National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence,” said Kelly. “If we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow, the U.S. must begin investing now in our workforce, education, research and development, and national security to ensure that this technology will positively benefit society.”

Hurd, who is leaving Congress at the end of this session, underscored the global importance of developing a national AI strategy.

“Most Americans are unaware we are in a generation-defining new cold war over global leadership of advanced technology and our success in this struggle is not guaranteed,” Hurd said. “With the improvements that technology is making in our lives on a daily basis, we are also facing significant disruption to our way of life which means American institutions must keep pace with this changing landscape. With the passage of H. Res. 1250 the House of Representatives has said America will take advantage of technology before it takes advantage of us by putting our nation on the path to retain an edge in AI and secure the next 70 years of American-led international prosperity and security.”

Recommendations in the legislation include:

  • The United States to collaborate with foreign nations to promote the interoperability of artificial intelligence to strengthen alliances;
  • The Federal government should expand broadband access to rural and underserved areas and expand the availability of affordable graphics processing units and high-performance computers in rural and underserved areas;
  • The United States should enable the inclusion of students from historically underrepresented groups in existing technology education programs to create a diverse AI workforce; and
  • The Federal government needs to ensure that the public trusts the ability of the military to ethically use AI and that human operators in human-machine teams trust the AI.

The legislation also received praise from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

“This resolution is a critical step forward in America’s ability to meet the challenges of the digital age. Artificial intelligence is reshaping the economy, geopolitics, and society, so it’s vital that the United States develop a unified plan that ensures we use this cutting-edge technology to advance inclusion and opportunity,” said Jason Grumet, president and founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center. “A national strategy is imperative to sustaining U.S. leadership in artificial intelligence and ensuring that it strengthens our economy and bolsters national security. We are hopeful this resolution will lead to a coordinated Federal approach on the best way to develop and use this evolving technology.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.