Lawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing

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 Wicker (R-Miss.), comes amid a larger push from the White House and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump 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. 

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 Gardner (R-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wis.) and Sen. Gary Peters (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 Trump 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.”

Tags Cory Gardner Donald Trump Gary Peters Ivanka Trump Roger Wicker Tammy Baldwin

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