Lawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing

Lawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing
© Greg Nash

Key senators on Tuesday introduced a bill to bolster U.S. investments in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and next-generation wireless technology, an effort to ease the country's transition into the "industries of the future." 

The legislation, from bipartisan members of the Senate Commerce Committee including Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Key Democrat opposes GOP Section 230 subpoena for Facebook, Twitter, Google MORE (R-Miss.), comes amid a larger push from the White House and presidential adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump didn't pay income tax for 10 of 15 years before 2016 election: NYT The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE to invest more government resources in emerging technologies like quantum and artificial intelligence, which are set to reshape how the country works and interacts. 

“We applaud the Senate Commerce Committee for furthering the Trump Administration’s ‘industries of the future’ momentum and look forward to the discussion at tomorrow’s hearing,”  said Elena Hernandez, the press secretary of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to The Hill on Tuesday. The committee is set to hold a hearing on preparing for the "industries of the future" on Wednesday. 

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The bill would increase government spending on so-called industries of the future, like advanced manufacturing, to $10 billion by 2025. It would also require the Trump administration to draw up a report on the federal government's current efforts to fund research and development in those areas.

“Our investments in research, development, and innovation have made the United States a global leader in science and technology," Wicker said in a statement. “This legislation would support and promote the advancement of next-generation technologies that will drive Industries of the Future."

It is co-sponsored by Sens. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBreaking the Chinese space addiction Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error Billionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden MORE (R-Colo.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenators introduce bipartisan bill to mandate digital apps disclose country of origin Keep teachers in the classroom Cher raised million for Biden campaign at LGBTQ-themed fundraiser MORE, (D-Wis.) and Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Postmaster general says postal service can't return mail-sorting machines The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (D-Mich.). 

The White House has pushed an agenda of American "dominance" in the industries of the future, arguing that the U.S. workforce should be prepared to take the lead as the job market becomes more technologically advanced and China speeds ahead in an ongoing technological race. President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts MORE has formed a Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence to coordinate research and development efforts around the emerging technology across the government, and signed into law the National Quantum Initiative Act, which calls for a federal approach to quantum computing.

Just last week, Ivanka Trump spoke at a major technology conference in Las Vegas about dominating the "industries of the future." 

And a group of tech executives gathered at the White House in 2018 to talk artificial intelligence, 5G wireless, quantum computing and advanced manufacturing, a meeting that senior administration officials referred to as a "listening tour."

“As technology continues to evolve, bringing new opportunities and challenges along with it, it’s critical the United States plan ahead for the Industries of the Future," Gardner said on Tuesday. "This bill will help America prepare for new innovations and technologies that will change the world and increase the quality of life for people everywhere. I’m proud to be part of this bipartisan legislation to help ensure we remain a global leader in technology.”