The Technology Modernization Fund is seeking proposals for investments in artificial intelligence as part of the Biden administration’s executive order. The fund is offering multiple funding options to help agencies improve coordination and modernize legacy systems in order to advance their mission. Agencies seeking $6 million or less with a project timeline of no more than 1.5 years will receive an expedited review process for investment.
All proposals must include a clear plan for user testing, risk mitigation, evaluation metrics, and senior executive support. The use of the TMF has the potential to accelerate AI usage in government. The GAO recently found that there are 228 AI applications in use in federal agencies, with 500 more in the planning stages and another 500 in the research or exploratory stage.
The government must manage the use of AI in a responsible way to minimize risk, achieve intended outcomes, and avoid unintended consequences. Both the House and Senate have taken an interest in this issue, with a bill requiring agencies to be more transparent when using automated intelligence and systems such as facial recognition software to interact with the public or to make decisions.
The TMF is a government-wide fund designed to provide up-front money for IT projects rather than stretch out the spending over time, often at a higher cost. Allocations from the fund have mostly gone toward projects to replace legacy systems.