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US Senators Propose $32 Billion Investment Plan to Boost AI and Tech Growth

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 2 min read
US AI Investment

A bipartisan group of four senators urged Congress to take bold, decisive action to secure American leadership in the artificial intelligence (AI) sector on May 15.

The senators’ AI investment plan, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, is pushing for $32 billion in funding over the next three years to develop AI in the country.

US Senators’ AI Investment Proposal Integrates Strategic Roadmap

In a 31-page document titled “Driving U.S. Innovation in Artificial Intelligence,” the group of two Democrats and Republican senators outlined a roadmap that would see the US take proactive steps to “harness the opportunities and address the risks” of the rapidly developing technology.

The proposed funding would primarily cover non-defense applications of AI, though the senators are also considering a major allocation for defense-related AI projects. Additionally, they proposed funding for cross-government AI research and development, including initiatives for AI-ready data and government AI testing and evaluation infrastructure.

“If China is going to invest $50 billion, and we’re going to invest in nothing, they’ll inevitably get ahead of us. So that’s why even these investments are so important,” Schumer stated.

Many commentators believe the senator’s AI investment plan could help the country address increasing concerns about China’s advancement in the sector. Washington fears that Beijing could use AI for malicious purposes, such as meddling in the Presidential elections or launching cyberattacks.

Additionally, the US lawmakers recommended the creation of a federal data privacy law and expressed support for legislation to prevent the use of “deepfake technology in election campaigns.” They also called for regulatory measures to address issues such as health and financial discrimination, job displacement, and copyright violations caused by AI.

Commenting on the latest senator’s AI investment proposal, Amy Klobuchar, a senator from Minnesota, expressed support for the recommended framework for AI, particularly in Journalism, where copyright infringement has been an issue.

Lawmakers Express Concerns on AI Threat to Election

Meanwhile, US Senators are sounding the alarm about AI’s threat to elections, specifically its potential to deceive voters.

To this end, the Senate Rules Committee advanced three bills on May 15 to combat this issue – the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, the AI Transparency in Elections Act, and the Preparing Election Administrators for AI Act.

The Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar and co-sponsored by Senator Josh Hawley, would prohibit using AI video or audio related to federal candidates.

The AI Transparency in Elections Act would require AI disclosures in political ads, while the Preparing Election Administrators for AI Act would develop guidelines to counter external AI threats, especially from foreign adversaries.

Recent incidents underscore the importance of these bills. In February, a robocall impersonating President Joe Biden and a video from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign last June using AI-generated images of former President Donald Trump have exposed the dangers of AI in elections.

These incidents highlight the urgent need for measures to protect the integrity of democratic processes from AI-based deception, which the EU has also been working on.

Recall that the EU set a precedent by passing the AI Regulation Act in March 2024 and has gone grill Big Tech on AI risks to elections. This is because of the content these firms allow their users to create.