Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Trump to create American AI Initiative with executive order

Trump to create American AI Initiative with executive order

US President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to prioritise research and development in artificial intelligence.

Aimed at bolstering American leadership in AI, the initiative features a "multi-pronged approach" that is categorized into five key pillars: research and development, AI infrastructure, AI governance, workforce and global engagement.

"I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future", Trump said in a White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) press statement.

Instead, the White House hopes to provide leadership for private industry to take the initiative in developing artificial intelligence.

"AI is something that touches every aspect of people's lives", a senior administration official said on the call.

There was no specific funding announced for the initiative, the administration official said on a conference call, adding that it called for better reporting and tracking of spending on AI-related research and development.

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Federal agencies should prioritize in funding research that will "directly benefit the American people", such as healthcare and education.

The initiative is the first step taken by the United States government to outline some sort of guidelines to help shape its ambitions in machine learning. The socialist country set aside $150 billion for industrial investment, prompting a number of other countries with strong tech sectors, including South Korea, the UK, France and Canada, to launch their own AI investment initiatives.

The effort comes as China continues making inroads in AI development.

The order doesn't cover intellectual property protections or export controls, which the administration has sought to use to constrain China in other areas, but aims to open markets for USA companies.

It directs federal agencies to make data and computing resources more available to artificial intelligence experts while maintaining security and confidentiality.

The executive order gives the NSTC Select Committee 90 days to pass along recommendations to the NSTC for how to implement such a program.

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