Congressional Commission Highlights Priorities for Advancing AI

Friday, Nov 15, 2019, 3:15pm

by Maryam Khan Cope, Director, Government Affairs


On Nov. 4, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) released its interim report to Congress detailing the Commission’s assessment of challenges and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI) for U.S. national security. The report includes a variety of recommendations that align with SIA policy priorities, including the need for increased research funding and workforce development.

The NSCAI is a congressionally created commission established to consider what is necessary to advance AI to strengthen U.S. national security. In its report to Congress, the Commission identified five fundamental lines of effort that are needed to preserve U.S. advantages in AI: invest in AI research and development, apply AI to national security missions, train and recruit AI talent, protect and build upon U.S. technology advantages, and marshal global AI cooperation. Several technical experts from SIA member companies provided guidance to the Commission, and the Commission’s recommendations build upon this feedback.

The Commission hosted a conference marking the release of the interim report, featuring leading policymakers such as Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Michael Kratsios. At the conference, Minority Leader Schumer announced an ambitious plan to introduce legislation that would create the National Science and Technology Foundation, as a subsidiary of the National Science Foundation, and invest $100 billion in artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies research over the next five years.

The Commission’s recommendations are consistent with SIA’s policy agenda, “Winning the Future: A Blueprint for Sustained U.S. Leadership in Semiconductor Technology.” The SIA blueprint makes the case that if the U.S. is to lead in future technologies such as AI, the U.S. must continue to lead the world in semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing, and this leadership is dependent on increasing federal investment in research and workforce development.

Advancement in artificial intelligence is linked to advancement in semiconductors, as semiconductors are critical in all three areas of a typical AI process flow: data generation, algorithm training, and AI inference. We congratulate the Commission on its call for increased research investments and workforce development as a means of advancing U.S. leadership in AI, and SIA looks forward to working with the NSCAI and leaders in Congress to ensure continued U.S. semiconductor innovation.