The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is currently accepting proposals for artificial intelligence-related investments as part of an executive order from the Biden administration. The fund aims to help federal agencies improve coordination between existing programs, modernize legacy systems, and operate more efficiently across organizational boundaries. Proposals 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, 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 the government, a critical component given the recent growth of AI applications in federal agencies.
As of the current date, there are 228 AI applications in use in federal agencies, with over 500 applications in the planning stages and an additional 500 in the research or exploratory stage. However, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has emphasized the need for responsible management of AI usage to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes, and avoid unintended consequences.
The issue of AI usage in the government has attracted the attention of both the House and Senate. The Senate has already passed a bill to require agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems such as facial recognition software.
The TMF is a government-wide fund designed to provide up-front money for IT projects, with allocations primarily going toward replacing legacy systems. This recent focus on AI investments has the potential to further modernize federal agencies and improve their operations.