In a bid to advance the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in federal agencies, the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is seeking proposals for investments related to AI under President Biden’s executive order on implementing AI in federal agencies. The fund aims to provide multiple funding paths to help agencies improve coordination between existing programs, operate across organizational boundaries, and modernize legacy systems to advance delivery of the agency mission.
To ensure that investments are made responsibly and effectively, all proposals must include a clear plan for user testing, risk mitigation, evaluation metrics, and senior executive support. Agencies have flexibility in how they approach their project and potential solution, with the TMF having the potential to accelerate AI usage in the government.
According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), there are currently 228 AI applications in use in federal agencies, with over 500 more in the planning stages and about 500 in the research or exploratory stage. However, the GAO cautioned that the government should manage its use of AI responsibly to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes, and avoid unintended consequences.
The House and Senate have also shown interest in this issue, with a bill having cleared committee level in both chambers to require agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems. The TMF is a government-wide fund designed to provide up-front funding for IT projects rather than stretching out spending over time, with most allocations going toward projects to replace legacy systems.