On August 9, 2022, President Biden signed the CHIPS Act of 2022
(the “Act”), legislation to fund domestic semiconductor
manufacturing and boost federal scientific research and development
(see our previous alert for additional background). As
part of its science-backed provisions, the Act includes many of the
U.S. Innovation and Competition Act’s (USICA) original
priorities, such as promoting standards and research and
development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and
supporting existing AI initiatives.
National AI Initiative
The Act directs the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) Director to continue supporting the development
of AI and data science and to carry out the National AI Initiative
Act of 2020 (previous alert for additional background),
which created a coordinated program across the federal government
to accelerate AI research and application to support economic
prosperity, national security, and advance AI leadership in the
United States. The Director will further the goals of the National
AI Initiative Act of 2020 by:
- Expanding NIST’s scientific staff and research
- Supporting measurement research and development for advanced
computer chips and hardware designed for AI systems.
- Supporting the development of technical standards and
guidelines for safe and trustworthy AI systems.
- Developing a framework for managing AI risks.
- Developing and publishing cybersecurity tools, encryption
methods, data science and AI best practices.
Furthermore, the Act provides that the Director may establish
testbeds, including in virtual environments, in collaboration with
other federal agencies, the private sector and colleges and
universities, to support the development of robust and trustworthy
AI and machine learning systems.
NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and
A new National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for
Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (the
“Directorate”) is established under the Act to address
societal, national and geostrategic challenges for the betterment
of all Americans through research and development, technology
development and related solutions. Over the next five years, the
new Directorate will receive $20 billion in funding. Moreover, the
Directorate will focus on 10 key technology focus areas, including
AI, machine learning, autonomy, related advances, robotics,
automation, advanced manufacturing and quantum computing, among
DOE Research, Development and Demonstration Activities
Within the Department of Energy (DOE), the Act authorizes $11.2
billion for research, development and demonstration activities and
to address energy-related supply chain activities in the ten key
technology focus areas prioritized by the new NSF Directorate.
Further, the Act authorizes $200 million for the DOE’s Office
of Environmental Management to conduct research, development and
demonstration activities, including the fields of AI and
Federal AI Scholarship in Graduate Education
The Act directs NSF Director to submit to the relevant House and
Senate congressional committees a report outlining the need,
feasibility and plans for implementing a program for recruiting and
training the next generation of AI professionals. The report will
evaluate the feasibility of establishing a federal AI
scholarship-for-service program to recruit and train the next
generation of AI professionals.
The Akin Gump cross-practice AI team continues to actively
monitor forthcoming congressional and administrative initiatives
related to AI.
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