Trump Set to Announce 'American Artificial Intelligence Initiative'

US President Donald Trump ordered the government to give greater priority to artificial intelligence but critics said the executive order lacked key details

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Monday outlining a national strategy for promoting the development of artificial intelligence, administration officials said.

"If there's no implementation plan behind the EO - with details, deadlines, and funding - then it may be worse than no EO at all", Wendy Anderson, general manager for defense and national security at SparkCognition, told reporters. The aim of the new initiative is to boost AI development and funding in the US and also to ensure that America is a leader when it comes to helping shape global artificial intelligence policies.

The plan, called the American AI Initiative, is meant to enhance national and economic security and improve Americans' quality of life.

The order will instruct federal agencies to focus on artificial intelligence in their research and development efforts, senior administration officials said, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

"What we can do is come together as a White House... to provide high-level guidance to the agencies to give them at least a roadmap to use as they think about the issues that you've discussed, including ethics", a Trump administration official said Monday, according to The Hill.

Mr. Trump's executive action won't call for a specific spending goal on AI, but will call on federal agencies and Congress to "prioritize" such spending, the official said.

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The Hill noted that other U.S. agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), were rushing to invest in AI that will "improve predictions of hurricanes and severe storms", according to an agency statement obtained by the publication.

Resource availability: AI researchers should have access to federal data, algorithms and computer processing.

Worldwide links: The US will collaborate on AI with other nations, but ensure that it develops in a way that works with American "values and interests".

It's well understood that this is directed at Beijing, which in July 2017 unveiled its plan to become the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. Eighteen other countries have beaten America to the punch in that regard.

Vivek Wadhwa, distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses how the expansion of artificial intelligence may affect USA employment.

MIT Technology Review reported that the "American AI Initiative" has five main goals: Redirect investments, develop AI research resources, create AI standards, prepare American workers for AI changes, and engage in worldwide AI efforts. That includes high school, undergraduate and graduate fellowships, alternative education and training programs and other scholarships.

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