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Donald Trump to sign executive order advancing artificial intelligence strategy

12 February, 2019, 08:10 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • US President Donald Trump ordered the government to give greater priority to artificial intelligence but critics said the executive order lacked key details

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday will sign an executive order asking federal government agencies to dedicate more resources and investment into research, promotion and training on artificial intelligence (AI), a senior administration official said.

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 USA values and to push training for the future workforce. Instead, it will announce a more detailed plan later this year.

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 a necessity".

The order notes that the United States "must train current and future generations of American workers with the skills to develop and apply AI technologies to prepare them for today's economy and jobs of the future", pointing to the "heads of implementing agencies" to prioritize grants "within existing Federal fellowship and service programs".

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First, the executive order will urge federal funding agencies to step up AI investments. Additionally, the directive will authorize expanded access to government data for researchers to help advance the technologies.

Create 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).

Last May, then-Defense Secretary James Mattis wrote a note to Trump imploring him to draw up just such a national strategy for retaining USA leadership in AI, noting his fear of China's ambitious plans, the New York Times reported in August.

Follow the White House OSTP on Twitter for more updates on the Trump administration's "American AI Initiative".

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