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 WickerHillicon Valley: UK allows Huawei to build 5G in blow to Trump | Lawmakers warn decision threatens intel sharing | Work on privacy bill inches forward | Facebook restricts travel to China amid virus Lawmakers claim progress on online privacy bill GOP senator asks tech audience for sympathy over Trump impeachment trial's no phone rule MORE (R-Miss.), comes amid a larger push from the White House and presidential adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump hits CNN's Lemon over segment mocking supporters: 'Dumbest man on television' Overnight Energy: Study finds 'forever chemicals' in more locations | Trump officials approve Keystone XL pipeline right-of-way | Warren asks banks for climate plans Gore praises Greta Thunberg after meeting: 'Nobody speaks truth to power as she does' 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 GardnerOvernight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision Foreign Relations Democrats 'deeply frustrated' after Iran briefing GOP leader warns lawmakers on fundraising: 'Getting our ass kicked' MORE (R-Colo.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenators ask FDA to crack down on non-dairy milks, cheeses Senate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Lawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing MORE, (D-Wis.) and Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — HHS has no plans to declare emergency over coronavirus | GOP senator calls for travel ban to stop outbreak | Warren releases plan to contain infectious diseases On The Trail: Why 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly 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 TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet 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.”