The Technology Modernization Fund is currently seeking proposals for investment in artificial intelligence-related projects under the Biden administration’s recent executive order on implementing AI in federal agencies. The fund offers multiple paths to funding, allowing agencies to operate more efficiently, improve coordination between existing programs and modernize legacy systems.
According to an announcement from the GSA, 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. The use of the TMF has the potential to accelerate AI usage in government.
The GAO recently found that there are 228 AI applications currently in use by federal agencies, with another 500 in the planning stages and about 500 in the research or exploratory stage. However, the government must manage its use of AI responsibly to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes and avoid unintended consequences.
The issue has also attracted attention from both the House and Senate with a bill (S-1865) having cleared committee level in the latter to require agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems such as facial recognition software to interact with the public or make decisions.
The TMF is a central government-wide fund designed to provide upfront money for IT projects rather than stretching out spending over time, often at a higher cost. Allocations mostly have gone towards projects to replace legacy systems.