The Biden administration has launched a call for proposals from the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) to invest in artificial intelligence. The fund, which is part of the executive order, is seeking to help agencies improve their coordination and modernize legacy systems in order to achieve their mission. Agencies seeking $6 million or less with a project timeline of no more than 1.5 years will receive an expedited review process for investment.
To be considered for funding, all proposals must include a clear plan for user testing, risk mitigation, evaluation metrics, and senior executive support. The TMF has the potential to accelerate the usage of AI in government by providing up-front money for IT projects rather than stretching out the spending over time, often at a higher cost.
The government must manage the use of AI in a responsible way to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes, and avoid unintended consequences. There are currently 228 AI applications in use in federal agencies, with 500 more in the planning stages and another 500 in the research or exploratory stage. Both the House and Senate have taken an interest in this issue, with a bill requiring agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems such as facial recognition software to interact with the public or to make decisions.
The TMF is designed to provide up-front money for IT projects rather than stretch out the spending over time, often at a higher cost. Allocations from the fund have mostly gone toward projects to replace legacy systems