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Artificial Intelligence Lab

Artificial Intelligence issues occupy a growing share of the Legislative and Executive Branch agendas; every day, Congressional aides advise their Members and Executive Branch staff encounter policy challenges and opportunities posed across sectors--from finance to defense. It is critically important that lawmakers and government officials be well-versed in this technology and its advances.

What the Congressional and Executive Branch Labs Offer

Similar to the Wilson Center’s other technology training programs (e.g. the Congressional Cybersecurity Lab and the Foreign Policy Fellowship Program), the core of the Lab is a six-week seminar series that introduces participants to foundational topics in AI: what is machine learning; how do neural networks work; what are the current and future applications of autonomous intelligent systems; who are currently the main players in AI; and what will AI mean for the nation’s national security. Each seminar is led by top technologists and scholars drawn from the private, public, and non-profit sectors and a critical component of the Lab is an interactive exercise, in which participants are given an opportunity to take a hands-on role on computers to work through some of the major questions surrounding artificial intelligence.  Due to COVID-19, these sessions are offered virtually.  When health guidance permits, these sessions will return in-person at the Wilson Center. 

The AI Lab is divided into two separate fellowship series. One that is offered for mid- to senior-level Congressional staff and one that is offered for mid- to senior-level Executive Branch staff. All sessions will be held virtually on Fridays from 2:00-4:00pm EDT. For more information about the labs or applications, please email Spencer Stucky at Spencer.Stucky@wilsoncenter.org.

Alumni Program

Fellows who attend at least 5 out of 6 sessions join the AI Lab Alumni Network. Alumni are invited to take part in exclusive Wilson Center events and programs, including private briefings, workshops, study trips, and high-level roundtables. During the seminar series, participants will also be in a position to draw on the expertise of the 150 resident scholars the Wilson Center hosts each year, a global network of academics and policymakers.

Who Should Apply

The Wilson Center invites mid- to senior-level Congressional and Executive Branch staff to participate in the Lab; the program is also open to exceptional rising leaders with a keen interest in AI. Applicants should possess a strong understanding of the legislative or Executive Branch governing process and aspire to a career shaping national security policy. 

The core of the AI Lab is a six-week seminar series that introduces participants to topics in AI: what is machine learning; how do neural networks work; what are the current and future applications of autonomous intelligent systems; who are currently the main players in AI; and what will AI mean for the nation’s national security. The AI Lab is divided into two separate fellowship series. One that is offered for mid- to senior-level Congressional staff and one that is offered for mid- to senior-level Executive Branch staff. All sessions will be held virtually on Fridays from 2:00-4:00pm EDT.

There is no cost to attend the lab, but an application must be submitted in order to be selected.

Congressional AI Lab

  • Dates: Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 19, Feb 26, Mar 5, & Mar 12. All sessions will be held virtually.

Executive Branch AI Lab

  • Dates: April 9, April 16, April 23, April 30, May 7, May 14. All sessions will be held virtually.
  • Weekly Session Topics: Artificial Intelligence (AI) 101 | Bias, Transparency, and Fairness in AI Systems | Hands-on Workshop in Data Science and Machine Learning | National Security, AI, and Innovation | China and AI | AI 102: Applications and Use Cases