The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is seeking proposals for AI-related investments that align with the Biden administration’s recent executive order on the use of artificial intelligence in federal agencies. The fund offers various avenues for funding to help agencies operate more efficiently, improve collaboration between existing programs, and modernize legacy systems.
According to a GSA announcement, 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 solutions. Utilizing the TMF has the potential to accelerate the adoption of AI in government.
The General Accountability Office (GAO) recently found 228 AI applications currently being used at federal agencies, over 500 in planning stages and about 500 in research or development stages. However, the GAO warns that government “must manage the use of artificial intelligence in a responsible manner to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes and avoid unintended consequences.”
This issue has gained attention from both houses of Congress with S-1865 bill clearing committee level in the second half requiring agencies to be more transparent when they use automated intelligence and systems such as facial recognition software interacting with the public or making decisions.
The TMF is a central government fund designed to provide upfront money for entire IT projects instead of rolling out spending over time, often at a higher cost. Allocations mainly went towards projects replacing outdated systems.