Trump signs order on artificial intelligence

Florence Fletcher
February 14, 2019

The White House plan that Trump signed Monday doesn't include any funding details. The President was returning to the White House after his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

President Trump's executive order on artificial intelligence (AI) announced by the White House today focuses on prioritizing Federal government investments in AI-driven projects, and development by Federal agencies of research and development budgets for AI that will support their core missions.

Government Resources: The initiative will give AI researchers access to federal data and resources such as machine learning algorithms and models to boost development and help researchers train advanced deep learning models and neural networks.

"The tone of this executive order reflects a laissez-faire approach to AI development that I worry will have the USA repeating the mistakes it has made in treating digital technologies as inherently positive forces, with insufficient consideration paid to their misapplication", he said.

The American AI Initiative executive order calls for the U.S. administration to "devote the full resources of the federal government" to help fuel AI innovation.

The Trump Administration is committed to promoting an global environment that supports AI R&D and opens markets for American AI industries while also ensuring that the technology is developed in a manner consistent with our Nation's values and interests.

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

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The order promises more tax dollars for AI research and development (R&D) and more access to federal data sets for AI testing. American workers are also part of the AI initiative, which will equip them with apprenticeships, fellowships, and programs in the AI industry.

"It is the policy of the United States Government to sustain and enhance the scientific, technological, and economic leadership position of the United States in AI R&D and deployment through a coordinated Federal Government strategy, the American AI Initiative".

Trump envisioned AI technology affecting almost every federal department and agency, creating new opportunities for efficiency while simultaneously raising concerns about privacy rights. "The American AI Initiative is rooted in the fundamental principle that in the United States, AI should never be used at the expense of our civil liberties and our freedoms".

Many universities in the US, including UTSA, are attempting to hire in order to build a larger pipeline of talent. In 2017, Beijing unveiled plans to establish a $150 billion domestic AI industry by 2030.

Wired noted that private-sector tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have been asking for federal standards on privacy and safety for AI technologies, such as facial recognition software.

Finally, the American AI Initiative will seek to foster stronger technical collaboration with other countries.

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