AI Specialist: The Coveted Role in Government Careers


AI Specialist: The Coveted Role in Government Careers

The Biden administration has announced plans to increase the number of AI professionals working for federal agencies by hiring 100 AI specialists by the summer. It is now mandatory for all federal agencies to hire a chief AI specialist to ensure responsible and transparent use of AI technology. Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized the importance of having senior leaders oversee AI adoption and use to ensure ethical practices.

Agencies must also establish AI-governance boards, similar to existing boards in other departments like Defense and Veterans Affairs. New AI roles come with significant incentives, including relocation, recruitment, and retention bonuses of up to 25% of basic pay. Flexible work schedules and remote work options are also encouraged for those in critical AI roles.

Base salaries for IT specialists dealing with AI are on the rise, with positions listed at over $143,000. The new policy mandates that federal agencies demonstrate that their use of AI technology does not harm the public. For example, agencies must ensure that AI tools used for diagnosing patients in VA hospitals do not produce racially biased results.

Federal agencies are required to adopt various guidelines by the end of the year, such as publishing an annual inventory of AI usage and ensuring human oversight of all AI tools. This initiative to expand the government’s AI workforce is part of Biden’s overall AI plan, which began with an executive order in October focused on transparency in AI technology.

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