The hot new government job is AI specialist

A robotic hand using laptop
The White House wants federal agencies to hire AI officers if they want to use the tech.Kilito Chan
  • The Biden administration is beefing up AI staff across the government.

  • All federal agencies are now required to hire a chief AI specialist, Kamala Harris announced.

  • Agencies must prove that their AI tools don't harm the public, or they must stop using AI.

Want to work for the federal government? Consider becoming an AI specialist.

The Biden administration announced on Thursday that it will beef up AI staff across all federal agencies, aiming to hire 100 AI professionals by the summer.

All federal agencies must hire a chief AI specialist to oversee the ethical and transparent use of AI, the White House's Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, said in its announcement.

"This is to make sure that AI is used responsibly, understanding that we must have senior leaders across our government who are specifically tasked with overseeing AI adoption and use," Vice President Kamala Harris said at a press conference.

In addition to hiring AI officers, agencies must also set up AI-governance boards, like those that already exist at the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and the State Department, the OMB said.

The new AI roles offer employees some major perks, including incentives of up to 25% of their basic pay — plus extra multiplied by the years in the service agreement — for relocation, recruitment, and retention, a memo from the US Office of Personnel Management said.

The office also encourages agencies to offer flexible-work schedules and remote-work options to those filling critical AI roles.

Open positions listed on a government-jobs board show base salaries topping out at over $143,000 for IT specialists dealing with AI.

Under the new order, agencies must also prove that their use of AI does not hurt the public, and if they can't, they must immediately stop using AI tools.

Harris explained, "If the Veterans Administration wants to use AI in VA hospitals to help doctors diagnose patients, they would first have to demonstrate that AI does not produce racially biased diagnoses."

The new policy also sets up several guidelines that federal agencies must adopt by the end of the year, including publishing an annual inventory of their use of AI, releasing any government-owned AI code they use, and ensuring a human oversees all AI tools.

The expansion of the government's AI workforce is the latest part of Biden's AI plan, which he kicked off with an executive order in October setting up transparency policies around the buzzy tech.

Read the original article on Business Insider