Trump Is Expected to Launch an 'American AI Initiative' Today

AFP  Getty Images

AFP Getty Images

President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to prioritize research and development in the field of artificial intelligence.

The order, which comes amid concerns about China's ambitions to dominate the sector and the likelihood of disruption for workers as the technology automates millions of jobs, doesn't outline specific funding goals, but says it aims to ensure that AI develops in a manner that reflects U.S. values and to push training for the future workforce. The Trump administration didn't disclose when it expects to reach its AI development goals.

America is widely considered the world leader in artificial intelligence - however, many believe the Chinese government's vast access to data might give it an advantage in the coming years.

As part of his State of the Union address last week, Trump called for "investments in the cutting edge industries of the future", and the administration official underscored the importance of AI in "driving" these future industries for the US. "This is not an option".

The directive will call for better coordination across government agencies, developing regulatory and ethics rules for the use of artificial intelligence, and require federal departments to track spending on research and development of AI.

Create resources: It will seek to make federal data, computer models, and computing resources available to AI researchers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will implement standards that support trustworthy AI systems.

Preparing workers: Agencies will train people to prepare for the changes resulting from AI (such as automaton), through apprenticeships, fellowships and training programs.

Vivek Wadhwa, distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses how the expansion of artificial intelligence may affect US employment.

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.

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