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Nonpartisan legislation seeks to strengthen AI education and workforce training in the United States.

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Sen. Maria Cantwell recently introduced new legislation aimed at strengthening American education and workforce training in artificial intelligence and quantum computing. This bipartisan bill, co-sponsored with Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, focuses on increasing expertise in AI and quantum computing through various initiatives. The proposed NSF AI Education Act of 2024 includes programs such as awarding scholarships, grants for research in agriculture, professional development fellowships, and creating AI Centers of Excellence at community colleges, among others.

Microsoft has expressed support for Cantwell’s bill, recognizing the opportunities it presents for students, professionals, and institutions to prepare for and benefit from advancements in AI. Cantwell, a former marketing executive for RealNetworks, has a long history of supporting tech-related measures and advocating for Washington state tech companies. She believes that the Pacific Northwest has the potential to become America’s ‘Quantum Valley’ due to the region’s active involvement in quantum computing research and development.

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz also voiced support for the legislation, emphasizing the importance of educating and training the next generation of Washington students to excel in AI and quantum computing. Cantwell’s previous efforts in promoting U.S. leadership in AI, such as co-sponsoring the Future of AI Innovation Act, have shown her commitment to advancing technology in the country. Additionally, her involvement in the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act highlights her dedication to investing in various technological areas, including AI, robotics, clean energy, and quantum computing.

Overall, Cantwell’s legislation aims to address the growing demand for AI expertise and equip the American workforce with the necessary skills to drive innovation and solve global challenges using cutting-edge technologies. By focusing on education and training in AI and quantum computing, the bill seeks to prepare individuals for the future of work and ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of technological advancements in the digital age.

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