Additional AI Provisions within the FY 2023 Draft NDAA

Published: October 28, 2022

Federal Market AnalysisArtificial Intelligence/Machine LearningInformation TechnologyPolicy and Legislation

The Advancing American AI Act within the draft House FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act represents another step in the technology’s expansion among federal agencies.

With each passing year, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is used to include priorities and authorized funding for federal expansion of information technologies. In fact, provisions within the NDAA often set the tone and stage for upcoming agency IT priorities and initiatives. When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), the advanced technology is shaping up to have strong role in the FY 2023 NDAA. Currently, the House version of the FY 2023 NDAA, H.R. 7900, which passed the House in July 2022, is being reconciled with the Senate version, S. 4543.

Several AI-related provisions in H.R. 7900, include:

  • Sec. 206, which requires the Coast Guard to pilot a project to enhance cutter readiness using AI and prognostic-based integrated maintenance planning
  • Sec. 211, which directs the Secretary of Defense to designate an official to oversee the research, development, prototyping, testing, procurement and requirements for operational use of AI
  • Sec. 843, which requires the Defense Acquisition University to create curriculum centered on training of multiple technologies such as AI, machine learning and quantum computing
  • Sec. 5426, which instructs HUD to assess the impact of tenant screening companies on underserved communities using AI technologies

As the NDAA tends to take a “catch all” role for other pending legislation, Sec. 5001, “Advancing American AI Act” is also contained in the draft version of H.R. 7900. Initially introduced in the Senate by Senators Peters [D-MI] and Portman [R-OH] in May 2021, the bill aims to promote AI adoption among specific federal agencies, while keeping in mind the protection and privacy of civil liberties.

In particular, the Advancing American AI Act includes the following provisions:

  • Promotes agency AI-related programs that advance U.S. global competitiveness
  • Bolsters the shift from AI research to application to modernize systems and assist with agency missions
  • Directs the adoption of modernization business practices and advanced technology across federal agencies while aligning with U.S. values
  • Strengthens AI application to advance agency mission effectiveness and business practice efficiency  
  • Directs OMB and interagency bodies such as the CIO and CDO Councils to identify four new AI use cases that support interagency or intra-agency modernization initiatives using multiple siloed internal and external data sources

The proposed AI legislation in the NDAA comes at the heels of another AI-centric legislation, the AI Training Act. The bill, also sponsored by Senators Peters and Portman, became law on October 17th and calls on OMB to establish an AI training course for federal workforce professions, including those in acquisitions.  The intent of the standardized training program is to understand the benefits, risks and future trends of AI technologies.

Taken altogether, the boost in AI-related legislation and requirements signals the federal government’s continued intent to embed and operationalize AI across agencies. The upward trend of AI contract spending in the last three years also reveals the growing acceptance of AI technology in the federal space and a sound marketplace for contractors.

Additional insight to the AI policies, trends and initiatives contributing to its expansion in the federal market is found in Deltek's Federal Artificial Intelligence Landscape, 2023 report.