• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Funding Opportunities for AI Modernization in Federal Agencies: TMF’s Call for Proposals and the Rise of Responsible AI Usage

ByEditor

Feb 13, 2024
Technology Fund Invites Proposals for Investments in AI Technology

Under the recent executive order on implementing AI in federal agencies, the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is seeking proposals for artificial intelligence-related investments. The fund offers multiple paths to funding to help agencies operate better, improve coordination between existing programs, and modernize legacy systems. Agencies proposing projects of $6 million or less with a timeline of no more than 1.5 years will receive an expedited review process for investment.

According to an announcement from the GSA, 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. The use of the TMF has the potential to accelerate AI usage in government.

A recent report by the GAO found that there are over 228 AI applications currently in use by federal agencies, with another 500 in the planning stages and about 500 in the research or exploratory stage. However, the report cautions that government agencies must manage their use of AI responsibly to minimize risk and achieve intended outcomes while avoiding unintended consequences.

The issue of responsible AI usage has also caught the attention of Congress with bill S-1865 having cleared committee level to require federal agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems such as facial recognition software to interact with the public or make decisions.

The TMF is a central government-wide fund designed to provide up-front money for IT projects rather than stretch out spending over time, often at a higher cost. Allocations mostly have gone towards projects aimed at replacing legacy systems.

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