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News » U.S. lawmakers chart AI workforce roadmap

U.S. lawmakers chart AI workforce roadmap

U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Eric Schmitt

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES — U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Eric Schmitt introduced bipartisan legislation on February 8th that would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a framework defining jobs in artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies.

The Technology Workforce Framework Act of 2024 would have NIST outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform roles in privacy, human resources, IT, supply chain security, acquisition, and other areas impacted by AI. 

“As artificial intelligence continues to play a bigger role in our society, it’s critical the future of this groundbreaking technology is formed in the United States. The way to ensure that happens is by building a workforce engaged in these new technologies,” said Peters. 

“My bipartisan bill will strengthen our nation’s workforce pipeline for generations to come, helping to drive transformative developments in AI and other emerging technology sectors.” 

For Schmitt, the bill will ensure that AI is utilized “to bolster American industry, and will incentivize companies to keep their jobs in the United States rather than outsourcing them overseas.”

The legislation aims to keep American workforces competitive as emerging technologies change jobs everywhere. A study by Cognizant and Oxford Economics predicts that 90% of jobs in the U.S. will be disrupted in some way by generative GenAI technology over the next decade. 

Michelle De Mooy of Georgetown University notes the NIST guidelines would serve as a starting point. Retailers would need to apply relevant aspects of the framework to their industry. Though likely not legally binding, retailers ignoring the recommendations could fall behind competitors using them.

“[This bill] is talking about things like privacy—so, for sure, retailers will be implicated because everybody is dealing with data. The idea of supply chain security is absolutely going to impact [retailers’] vendors,” she said. 

American financial regulators have previously warned that the rapid adoption of AI in the financial sector poses risks to stability that require oversight. 

Meanwhile, major technology companies, including Adobe, IBM, and Nvidia, joined a voluntary initiative proposed by U.S. President Joe Biden to regulate AI.

The European Union already reached a provisional agreement on legislation regulating the development and use of AI systems across its 27 member states.

Read more here.

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