Paul D. Tonko

09/24/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2020 12:50

Tonko, Reschenthaler Introduce Artificial Intelligence Education Act

WASHINGTON-Representatives Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) have just announced the introduction of their Artificial Intelligence Education Act today, bipartisan legislation that would establish grant support within the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the creation of easily-accessible K-12 lesson plans for schools and educators to provide students with the tools, skills and social understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in 21st-Century Society.

'The development of Artificial Intelligence has fundamentally changed the way we live and work, bringing untold potential in the fields of medical science, research and development, engineering, manufacturing and so much more,' Congressman Tonko said. 'By providing the resources for our children to learn about AI, we ensure that the next generation of our American workforce has the skill necessary to succeed in this rapidly growing field, thereby helping to drive innovation and economic opportunity. Our legislation will deliver the tools needed to teach AI to students across the nation. I thank Congressman Reschenthaler for his partnership as a co-lead of this bill and urge the support of my colleagues in Congress to help secure a bright future for both our students and our economy.'

'I am proud to join with Congressman Tonko to introduce the Artificial Intelligence Education Act, bipartisan legislation that will expand opportunities for artificial intelligence education in schools across our nation,' said CongressmanReschenthaler. 'Educating the future leaders of America on emerging critical technologies is an important step forward in protecting our national defense, fostering ingenuity and innovation, and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. I urge our colleagues to join us in supporting this important mission.'

The economic and social impacts of AI are just beginning to emerge. According to a 2018 McKinsey Global Report, AI has the potential to increase global economic output by $13 trillion by 2030. A similar report from Accenture states that AI has the potential to grow the United States economy by $8 trillion over the next decade and a half.

This bipartisan Tonko-Reschenthaler legislation ensures that the next generation of the American workforce is prepared to fill the fast-growing demand for AI-related jobs and to drive U.S. innovation in AI quickly and into the future.

The Artificial intelligence Education Act would:

  • Ensure that lesson plans address the broad swath of critical issues relating to artificial intelligence; including fundamental principles and programming methods;
  • Direct lesson plans to educate students about the many societal and demographic implications of AI, particularly including strategies to address and avoid bias;
  • Guarantee that lesson plans are accessible to all public school students by requiring that no additional resources are needed for implementation;
  • Ensure that a broad community of stakeholders representing academia, private industry, and K-12 education to be eligible for grants under this program; and
  • Bolster America's STEM-educated K-12 teaching workforce by expanding eligibility and increasing funding for the Robert Noyce Teacher Training Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarship to science, technology, and mathematics undergraduates who choose to pursue a career in K-12 education.

Supporting organizations include: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Cornell University, International Society for Technology in Education (ITSE), Penn State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Scale, Workday.