The Need

Artificial Intelligence issues occupy a growing share of the Congressional agenda; every day, staff advise Members on policy pertaining to the transformative set of technologies collectively known as artificial intelligence. It is critically important that both lawmakers and aides be well-versed in the complex subjects at hand.

What the Lab Offers

Similar to the Wilson Center’s other Congressional Fellowship Programs (The Cyber Security 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. Unless otherwise noted, sessions are held at the Wilson Center.

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 staff to participate in the Lab; the program is also open to exceptional rising leaders with a keen interest in AI who staff other U.S. policymakers. Applicants should possess a strong understanding of the legislative process and aspire to a career shaping national security policy. For more, see our FAQ.

Application Requirements and Dates

Applications for the Spring AI Lab will open in February, 2019.

The sessions for the Spring 2018 Lab will meet on March 8th, March 15th, March 22nd, March 29th, April 5th, and April 12th. Each session runs from 2:00 to 5:00PM at the Wilson Center. Please do not apply unless you are confident you can meet the attendance requirement. For more information, please see our FAQ.