'Future Tech' Funding Bill Introduced

A bipartisan group of Senate leaders has introduced a bill that would put billions of funds into "industries of the future," one of which is artificial intelligence (AI). 

The Industries of the Future Act of 2020 would "support and promote the advancement of next generation technologies that will drive Industries of the Future," said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “Our investments in research, development, and innovation have made the United States a global leader in science and technology,” he said. 

The bill would: 

1. "Require the Administration to develop a report on the research and development programs of the federal government that focus on Industries of the Future. 

2. "Require a plan for doubling the baseline investments in such industries by 2022 and a plan for increasing civilian spending on Industries of the Future to $10 billion by fiscal year 2025. The bill would also require the Administration to propose legislation to implement such spending plans. 

3. "Require a Coordination Council that would better focus existing entities and require those entities to focus on advancing Industries of the Future." 

Also backing the bill were Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather, respectively, and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). 

“I’m pleased to see the Industries of the Future Act introduced by Senators Wicker, Gardner, Peters, and Baldwin yesterday," said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios. "Importantly, the bill recognizes that the industries of the future are interconnected and builds upon work already underway."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.