The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is seeking proposals for investments related to artificial intelligence under the Biden administration’s executive order on implementing AI in federal agencies. The fund aims to provide multiple funding paths to help agencies improve coordination between existing programs, operate across organizational boundaries, and modernize legacy systems to advance delivery of the agency mission. Agencies seeking $6 million or less with a project timeline of no more than 1.5 years will receive an expedited review process for investment to help them achieve positive outcomes and impact quickly.
The Generalized Accounting Office (GAO) has found that there are currently 228 AI applications in use in federal agencies, with over 500 more in the planning stages and about 500 in the research or exploratory stage. However, they cautioned that the government should manage its use of AI responsibly to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes, and avoid unintended consequences. To ensure responsible usage of AI, 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 House and Senate have also shown interest in the issue, with a bill having cleared the committee level in the latter to require agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems. The TMF is a government-wide fund designed to provide up-front funding for IT projects rather than stretching out the spending over time, with most allocations going toward projects to replace legacy systems. By providing up-front funding for AI projects, the TMF has the potential to accelerate AI usage in the government and help agencies achieve their mission more effectively.