Technology & Innovation
day one project

Share Your Ideas for AI Legislation

03.04.24 | 4 min read

Submissions due March 29

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AI policy has been a hot topic in Washington. Since the arrival of ChatGPT in late 2022, we’ve seen a proliferation of hearings, AI Insight Forums, executive action, and agency policy around AI. AI policy is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of government action, moving quickly across most of the executive and legislative branches.

The obvious exception is in legislation: none of the many proposed frameworks and bills on AI policy have passed in Congress. This can be explained in part by our divided legislature, with narrow and opposite partisan majorities in the House and Senate. However, the challenge of AI governance is not going away, and will in all likelihood increase in magnitude in the coming years. Congress cannot afford to cede its legislative power on AI.

The time is ripe for AI-related legislation. AI legislative policy has been largely bipartisan to date, with most notable legislation introduced with both Republican and Democratic sponsors. And lawmakers across the political spectrum recognize that AI is an urgent and important challenge that Congress cannot leave unaddressed.

The Federation of American Scientists is hosting an AI Legislation Policy Sprint to identify, develop, and publish a set of AI-focused policy ideas that could be implemented by Congress. The primary aim of this project is to identify recommendations for legislation that: 1) are bipartisan and pragmatic, and 2) robustly address AI-related risks and potential benefits.

What is the AI Legislation Policy Sprint? 

A policy sprint is a process that guides participants as they develop an initial idea into a tailored, actionable set of policy recommendations. The AI Legislation Policy Sprint will center on sourcing legislative ideas for AI in terms of governance and regulatory models, innovation, and trust and safety. Please see the FAQ below the application form for more details.

Selected participants will have a chance to develop their ideas with guidance from policy advisors, meet with veteran policymakers to learn more about the nuances of policy implementation, and hone their ideas into an actionable AI legislative package. We are also offering a $1500 stipend per accepted proposal, in recognition of the value of our participants’ time.

What’s the outcome?

Action-ready proposals that are usually about 1,000 – 3,000 words in length. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our library of proposals to get a better sense of the end-product. Note that there is a difference between the outputs of this sprint and past memos—they should be legislative proposals rather than memos targeted at federal agencies.

Who should apply?

For the AI Legislation Policy Sprint, we are looking for subject matter experts, ideally with policy experience or at least interest in policy engagement. We seek those who have an idea to legislatively address AI-related risks and benefits and are highly motivated to leverage the tools, skills, and networks we provide to drive this change. Ideal candidates will have deep expertise on or exposure to AI-related policy issues. For example:

This list is non-exhaustive; if you have an idea you want to share with us, please apply, no matter your background. Individuals with identities underrepresented are especially encouraged to apply. The sprint is designed around working professionals, with a time commitment of about 3-4 hours/week.

What kinds of AI legislation ideas are we looking for?

We are seeking a diverse range of policy proposals, ready to inform the Congress’s AI agenda. Some key focus areas and questions we are interested in:

Can you share more about the kinds of ideas you’re looking for?
We are primarily focused on ideas for legislation that: 1) are bipartisan and pragmatic, and 2) robustly address AI-related risks and potential benefits. Please see the section on “What kinds of ideas we’re looking for” for specific issue areas that we are particularly interested in pursuing. We also recommend looking at our proposal library for a better sense of what we mean by “ambitious and actionable” policy ideas.
How many proposals are you accepting for the sprint?
We are looking for approximately 10-20 participants (and proposals) for the sprint.
What is the timeline for reviewing proposals and opening the sprint?

We will review applications after the close of the application window on March 29. We anticipate informing applicants of our decision by April 10 and kicking off the sprint in mid-April.

How does the sprint process work, and what am I committing to if I am accepted?

Interested parties begin by completing our official submission form. Each submission requires prospective authors to submit information on who they are, as well as a summary of their idea to help our team understand and evaluate each submission. We recommend reviewing the form in advance and thinking through each answer to the questions before officially submitting your proposal. We also suggest reviewing existing papers on our website for examples of previous work.

If selected, participants will be expected to attend up to 3-4 sessions of programming during the sprint, with additional asynchronous time spent drafting their legislative proposal. Sprint participants receive comprehensive support from the FAS team that includes:

  • One-on-one mentorship from FAS staff members who will serve as a resource during the proposal development and refinement stages.

  • Access to technical editing and other resources to ensure a compelling final written product.

  • A $1500 stipend per accepted proposal, in recognition of the value of our participants’ time.

Following the completion of the sprint, we aim to invite authors to pitch their proposal virtually to policymakers and congressional staff. FAS will work with our legislative partners to advance participants’ proposals; however, we cannot guarantee that any specific recommendations will be taken up.