House Bill Would Establish National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

by McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

On March 20, 2018, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced a bill (H.R. 5356) in the United States House of Representatives in an effort to establish a new National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.  The Commission itself would be considered an independent establishment in the Executive Branch under 5 U.S.C. § 104.

The bill, entitled the National Security Commission Artificial Intelligence Act of 2018, directs the Commission to review advances in "artificial intelligence, related machine learning developments, and associated technologies."  Specifically, the Commission will consider how to advance such technologies so as to "comprehensively address the national security needs of the Nation, including economic risk, and any other needs of the Department of Defense or the common defense of the Nation."

Various officials, including the Secretary of Defense, the respective Chairpersons of the Committees on Armed Services of the House and Senate, as well as the ranking minority members of those Committees would be responsible for selecting the Commission's eleven appointed members.  Under the language of the bill, the Commission is tasked to provide an initial report no less than 180 days from enactment of the Act and a comprehensive report no later than one year from enactment.  The reports are to be submitted to the President and Congress and will include subject matter such as:

(A) the competitiveness of the United States in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other associated technologies, including matters related to national security, economic security, public-private partnerships, and investments;

(B) means and methods for the United States to maintain a technological advantage in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other associated technologies, including quantum computing and high performance computing;

(C) developments and trends in international cooperation and competitiveness, including foreign investments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer science fields;

(D) means by which to foster greater emphasis and investments in basic and advanced research to stimulate private, public, academic and combined initiatives in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other associated technologies, including quantum computing and high performance computing;

(E) workforce and education incentives to attract and recruit leading talent in artificial intelligence and machine learning, including science, technology, engineering, and math programs;

(F) risks associated with United States and foreign country advances in military employment of artificial intelligence and machine learning, including under the international law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, and escalation dynamics;

(G) associated ethical considerations related to artificial intelligence and machine learning as it will be used for future applications;

(H) means to establish data standards and provide incentives for the sharing of open training data within related data-driven industries;

(I) development of privacy- and security-protecting measures for data in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies; and

(J) any other matters the Commission deems relevant to the common defense of the Nation.

The bill appropriates up to $10 million from the Department of Defense budget to fund the Commissions activities.  Upon introduction, the bill was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, as well as the Committees on Education and the Workforce, Foreign Affairs, Science, Space, and Technology, and Energy and Commerce for a period of consideration and comment.

The bill defines "artificial intelligence" in very similar (and, in some cases, identical) terms as other pieces of proposed House and Senate AI legislation, namely:

(1) Any artificial system that performs tasks under varying and unpredictable circumstances without significant human oversight, or that can learn from experience and improve performance when exposed to data sets.

(2) An artificial system developed in computer software, physical hardware, or other context that solves tasks requiring human-like perception, cognition, planning, learning, communication, or physical action.

(3) An artificial system designed to think or act like a human, including cognitive architectures and neural networks.

(4) A set of techniques, including machine learning, that is designed to approximate a cognitive task.

(5) An artificial system designed to act rationally, including an intelligent software agent or embodied robot that achieves goals using perception, planning, reasoning, learning, communicating, decision making, and acting.

Recent legislative activity in this technology area of seems to suggest increasing public interest in artificial intelligence and its potential for positive and negative effects on society.  Time will tell whether H.R. 5356 -- and its national security focus -- will enjoy increased traction as the bill is considered, as compared to similar AI legislation proposed under the Secretaries of Commerce (H.R. 4625 and S. 2217) and Labor (H.R. 4829).

For additional information regarding this topic, please see:

H.R.5356 – National Security Commission Artificial Intelligence Act of 2018
GOP rep introduces bill to address national security risks of artificial intelligence (The Hill, March 21, 2018)
House lawmaker pitches new AI commission to brief Trump (Washington Examiner, March 21, 2018)
Multiple Artificial Intelligence Bills Introduced in House and Senate (Patent Docs, February 15, 2018)

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.