House lawmakers introduced legislation requiring artificial intelligence (AI) training for the Federal acquisition workforce, a companion to a Senate bill passed last December.

The AI Workforce Act – introduced by Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and James Comer, R-Ky., May 6 – would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide training on AI for the Federal acquisition workforce. The training would include anything from understanding AI benefits and uses to potential risks.

In addition, the bill prompts the OMB director to work with technologists, scholars, and other experts from the private and public sectors to create this training program.

The measure is a companion legislation to the Senate bill, the AI Training Act, that passed the Senate late last year. The bill also requires OMB to establish an AI training program for the acquisition workforce.

With the introduction of this companion legislation, Congress is one step closer to ensuring that the workforce has the necessary knowledge of the capabilities and risks associated with AI. Proponents of this legislation and the Senate version have pointed to recommendation from the National Security Commission on AI that more AI training in the Federal workforce would offset risks associated with AI.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will gather and discuss the House version of the bill on May 11.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.