After incorporating some of the National Security Commission on AI’s recommendations in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., hope to incorporate more of the commission’s final recommendations in the FY 2022 NDAA.

Langevin and Stefanik – chairman and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems – expressed pride in leading the charge to get the commission established in the FY 2019 NDAA and future legislative priorities for AI at the National Defense Industrial Association’s National Security AI Convention on March 23.

“I’m very proud that we worked together to establish the National Security Commission on AI, and for the work we did to integrate many of those recommendations in last year’s NDAA,” Stefanik said on one of the convention’s panels. “We will also be integrating many of the final recommendations into this year’s NDAA process.”

Some of the recommendations included in the FY 2021 NDAA included elevating the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint AI Center (JAIC) so that it now reports directly to the Secretary of Defense, establishing a board of advisors with acquisition authority, and including the National AI Initiative Act. The latter will help coordinate and accelerate Federal investments at Federal research agencies, according to Stefanik.

Langevin and Stefanik expressed pride in how they have been able to accelerate AI workforce growth but also highlighted a need to continue to focus on talent acquisition and retainment. Both stated that continuing to focus on AI workforce growth will be a priority when building out the NDAA for FY 2022.

“We’re really proud of the work that we did in terms of trying to grow the AI workforce,” Langevin said on the same panel. “I think that’s one of the highlights of the work that we focused on. This talent needs to be nurtured and grown. It’s obviously an emerging field, and we need to focus on how we can grow it and keep it here.”

“More work must be done,” Stefanik said. “Our warfighters must have the most advanced technological capabilities to deter and defeat our adversaries in an AI environment to improve the lethality and capabilities of our forces we must continue supporting the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and enable the services and combatant commands to develop tailor and deploy AI systems to the battlespace.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.