US president launches the American AI Initiative

11 Feb 2019

In the USA, President Donald Trump signed an ‘Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence'. The order outlines an American AI Initiative, according to which the USA is to (a) drive technological breakthroughs in AI; (b) drive the development of appropriate standards and reduce barriers to the testing and deployment of AI; (c) train current and future generations with skills to develop and use AI; (d) foster public trust in AI, while protecting civil liberties; and (e) promote an international environment that supports AI research and innovation. The implementation of the Initiative will be coordinated through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. In line with the Initiative, federal agencies that perform or fund research and development are directed to prioritise investments in AI. At the same time, the order requires governmental agencies to make federal data, models and computing resources more available to AI experts, researchers and industries, while respecting safety, security, privacy, and other individual rights. Federal agencies are to establish guidelines for the development and use of AI across sectors, while the National Institute of Standards and Technology will lead the development of technical standards 'in support of reliable, robust, and trustworthy systems that use AI technologies'. To better prepare the workforce for the 'age of AI', federal agencies will prioritise AI within their fellowships and training programmes, and the Select Committee will develop recommendations on AI-related educational and workforce development. Lastly, the order calls for the development of an action plan to protect the US advantage in AI technology critical to the economic and national security interests 'against strategic competitors and adversarial nations'.


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