Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Tech | By Anita Cain

Trump calls for investment in artificial intelligence

Trump calls for investment in artificial intelligence

The President was returning to the White House after his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The plan, called the American AI Initiative, is meant to enhance national and economic security and improve Americans' quality of life.

"The United States must drive technological breakthroughs in AI across the Federal Government, industry, and academia in order to promote scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security", the order stated.

Establish standards: It will direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to create standards that foster the development of "reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems".

The administration said the initiative will redirect existing federal funding and resources towards AI research.

Trump's EO focuses on maintaining the country's research and development on cutting-edge technology to benefit Americans.

The order calls for heads of implementing federal agencies that perform or fund AI R&D to prioritize this research when developing budget proposals for FY 2020 on.

The order promises more tax dollars for AI research and development (R&D) and more access to federal data sets for AI testing. The executive order will direct government agencies to launch computer science programs and other initiatives aimed at helping workers adjust for shifts in the job market. This initiative positions the United States to begin dictating standardization policies around developing "reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems", through agencies including the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The American AI Initiative also asks agencies to prepare to assist workers whose jobs are impacted by artificial intelligence. "China is investing US$150 billion by 2030 with the goal of becoming the pre-eminent AI country in the world".

Trump envisioned AI technology affecting almost every federal department and agency, creating new opportunities for efficiency while simultaneously raising concerns about privacy rights.

In May, a top White House technology official, Michael Kratsios, assured participants from more than 100 companies across several sectors of the economy that the administration would pursue a hands-off regulatory approach to AI to allow it to grow unfettered. Eighteen countries including Canda, Denmark, France, Mexico, Singapore, and South Korea now have fully funded AI strategies in place, but none have the public-private infrastructure and hardware/software pipeline that exists in China.

Many universities in the US, including UTSA, are attempting to hire in order to build a larger pipeline of talent.

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