President Donald Trump is directing federal agencies to focus on artificial intelligence, multiple outlets have reported.
- Research and development: Federal funding agencies will be asked to “prioritize AI investments” in their allocations.
- Resource availability: AI researchers should have access to federal data, algorithms and computer processing.
- Creation of standards: Standards to push the development of “reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable and interoperable AI systems” will be set out by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- Worker preparation: Agencies will train people to prepare for the changes resulting from AI (such as automation), through apprenticeships, fellowships and training programs.
- International links: The US will collaborate on AI with other nations, but ensure that the technology develops in a way that works with American “values and interests.”
The news comes less than a week after Trump’s second State of the Union, which was aside from a passing reference to the administration’s infrastructure plan.
AI is a catch-all term that broadly describes the ability of computers to function more like the human brain, making connections and drawing inferences on their own rather than simply working from a strict set of programming instructions. Among the technologies that have seen big advances because of AI are facial recognition and digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri.
Silicon Valley has been investing heavily in AI in recent years, but the path hasn’t always been an easy one. Last October, for instance, Google withdrew from competition for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract, saying it might conflict with its principles for ethical use of AI.
Trump this week is also reportedly expected to sign an executive orderfrom US wireless networks by the end of February.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment on the American AI Initiative.
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