Donald Trump to Launch ‘American AI Initiative’ to Guide AI Development within US
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Donald Trump to Launch ‘American AI Initiative’ to Guide AI Development within US

President Donald Trump is all set to change his decision on AI by signing an executive order that will make the “American AI Initiative” a high-level strategy for guiding AI development within the US.

For years, many nations around the world have been continuously working and launching programs to simulate AI development, while the Trump administration took the back seat and didn’t bother much about it. But now this step seems to be taken to “Make America Great Again” in the field of artificial intelligence!

This initiative from the Trump government will not only redirect federal funding and resources towards AI research, but will also lead to the creation of US-driven international standards in AI and new research focused on retraining American workers. Although the administration has not shed any light on timelines for reaching its defined goals, but is promising to introduce a detailed plan in the coming six months.

As per different outlets, the AI Initiative goals are classified into five key phases:

  • Research and development – Federal agencies will now have to “prioritize AI investments” in their R&D budgets and show how the money is spent to create an overview of government investment in artificial intelligence.
  • Freeing up resources – Researchers will be provided with federal data, algorithms, and processing power, with an aim to give boost to areas like transportation and healthcare.
  • Ethical standards – Government bodies such as The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will now have to make standards that will guide the development of “reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems.”
  • Automation – Agencies will have to prepare workers for the changes in today’s job market brought about by innovative technologies by creating fellowships and apprenticeships.
  • International outreach – The administration needs to retain American values and interests while working with other countries on AI development.

This initiative covers a number of areas of key concern in AI development, however the lack of new funding is still a worry. So far, 18 countries have launched their AI strategies and more than half of these have new source of funding. As per the reports, figures range from roughly $20 million in Australia and Denmark to nearly $2 billion in South Korea.

Talking about the AI Initiative, Kate Crawford, co-director of the New York University research group AI Now, told the Science Magazine, “Executive order correctly highlights AI as a major priority for US policymaking, but lacks input from academics and civic leaders. This is especially worrying given the potential of AI technologies like facial recognition to impinge upon privacy and civil liberties. Recently, tech companies like Microsoft have called for federal regulation of facial recognition, but the AI Initiative includes no reference to these concerns.”

Commenting on the AI Initiative by Trump government, Jason Furman, a Harvard professor who served as the chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and helped draft the previous administration’s report on AI, told Technology Review, “…plan was a step in the right direction, but would need concrete commitments — not just promises — in order to fulfill its stated goals.” He added, “The Administration’s American AI Initiative includes all of the right elements, the critical test will be to see if they follow through in a vigorous manner. The plan is aspirational with no details and is not self-executing.”