Trump administration unveils order to prioritize and promote AI

AFP  Getty Images

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The plan, called the American AI Initiative, comes after China and other countries have pledged big investments to advance and apply AI technology in fields ranging from warfighting to health care.

While an official American AI Initiative is a welcome move, those in the industry will be disappointed that the initiative doesn't actually include any new funding for AI development and is pretty light on details besides those laid out above.

"We can not sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed", according to a statement released by White House on Monday.

It will also aim for a "multi-pronged approach" that emphasizes "research and development, AI infrastructure, AI governance, workforce and worldwide engagement".

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday directing the US government to prioritize artificial intelligence in its research and development spending, the White House said.

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

Trump made brief mention of technology at this month's State of the Union address, pledging "investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future".

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.

It also says federal agencies will establish guidance to ensure the new technologies are developed in a safe, trustworthy way. AI researchers will need to have computer models, computing resources, and federal data to kickstart projects.

Retrain workers: It will ask agencies to prioritize preparing workers for the changes brought about by AI through apprenticeships, skills programs, and fellowships.

The order will instruct federal agencies to focus on artificial intelligence in their research and development efforts, senior administration officials said, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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