The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is currently seeking proposals for investments related to artificial intelligence under the Biden administration’s executive order on implementing AI in federal agencies. The fund aims to provide multiple funding paths to help agencies improve coordination between existing programs, operate across organizational boundaries, and modernize legacy systems to advance the delivery of their mission.
To be eligible for funding, agencies must have a project timeline of no more than 1.5 years and seek $6 million or less. Those who meet these criteria will receive an expedited review process for investment to help them achieve positive outcomes and impact quickly.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced that 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, and the use of the TMF has the potential to accelerate AI usage in government.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently found that there are currently 228 AI applications in use in federal agencies, with over 500 more in the planning stages and about 500 in the research or exploratory stage. While this represents significant progress, the GAO cautioned that the government should manage its use of AI responsibly to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes, and avoid unintended consequences.
In addition to TMF funding, there are also efforts being made at both the House and Senate levels to ensure greater transparency when using automated intelligence and systems. For example, a bill has cleared committee level in the latter requiring agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems. Overall, it’s clear that there is a growing recognition of the importance of responsible AI usage within government agencies.