ASME Joins in Letters to Congress Supporting Artificial Intelligence and Manufacturing Initiatives in FY21 NDAA
Aug 31, 2020
Leading organizations in the artificial intelligence and robotics community, including ASME, have issued a letter of support to Members of Congress requesting House and Senate leaders include the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The letter requests that Senate and House Armed Services Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members include provisions that mandate the development of a national AI strategy and establishes a network of AI institutes. Additionally, as part of the Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR), ASME has issued an additional letter supporting manufacturing priorities in the FY 2021 NDAA.
The national network of AI institutes will be led by NSF, DOE, the Department of Commerce, NASA and DOD. Each Institutes would focus on fundamental research and key mission related to an AI application. The bill also includes provisions that promote building AI skills in K-12, undergraduate, and graduate school education, as well as workforce training programs. The House passed its version of the FY 2021 NDAA (H.R. 6395), which includes the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020. However, the AI provisions have been left out of the Senate’s version of the NDAA. This letter, along with other efforts by ASME and the greater robotics/artificial intelligence community, would encourage NDAA Conferees (House and Senate Members charged with reaching a final compromise between the House and Senate version of the bill) to support the AI provisions in a final compromise bill.
In terms of manufacturing provisions, the CNSR letter supports cyber security from a national security perspective as vitally important throughout the manufacturing sector. As the manufacturing sector begins to adopt more digital competencies, the importance of a fortified cybersecurity infrastructure will be an imperative in ensuring smooth and secure manufacturing operations. This letter supports providing manufacturers with a support system, including workforce development programs in both machine learning and cyber security, to streamline and incorporate cybersecurity systems will encourage robust innovation throughout the manufacturing and defense sectors.
NDAA Conferees have not yet been named, but ASME will continue to monitor the NDAA as it advances and promote the society’s technology priorities in the final legislation.
To view the AI-specific provisions support letter, please visit: https://www.asme.org/getmedia/b16d51ba-e661-47a1-95b8-0746aeecf661/ps20-12-letter-in-support-of-national-ai-research-initiative.pdf.
To view the CNSR NDAA support letter, please visit: https://www.asme.org/getmedia/1d7c7ba1-39e7-4cf8-a839-a7d51a98c1eb/ps20-13-fy21-cnsr-ndaa-conference-priorities-letter.pdf.