The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is currently seeking proposals for artificial intelligence-related investments under the Biden administration’s recent executive order on implementing AI in federal agencies. This fund offers multiple paths to funding, helping agencies operate more efficiently, coordinate better between existing programs, and modernize legacy systems.
The GSA has announced that all proposals submitted to the TMF must include a clear plan for user testing, risk mitigation, evaluation metrics, and senior executive support. Agencies have the flexibility to approach their project and potential solution as they see fit. The use of this fund has the potential to accelerate AI usage in government.
According to a recent report from the GAO, there are currently 228 AI applications in use by federal agencies, with another 500 in the planning stages and around 500 in the research or exploratory stage. However, the GAO cautions that responsible use of AI is essential to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes, and avoid unintended consequences.
Both the House and Senate have taken notice of this issue, 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 up-front money for IT projects rather than stretch out spending over time. Allocations mostly go toward projects aimed at replacing legacy systems. With its focus on AI-related investments under the Biden administration’s executive order on implementing AI in federal agencies, this fund presents an opportunity for agencies looking to modernize their operations and take advantage of cutting-edge technology.