Trump administration orders research into AI


President Donald Trump will push AI with an executive order Monday, several outlets reported.

"Heads of implementing agencies that also perform or fund R&D (AI R&D agencies), shall consider AI as an agency R&D priority", the order states, noting, "Heads of such agencies shall take this priority into account when developing budget proposals and planning for the use of funds in Fiscal Year 2020 and in future years".

President Donald Trump is directing federal agencies to focus on artificial intelligence (AI), multiple outlets have reported. The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy said in a statement during the speech on February 5 that AI was among the industries Trump was referring to, alongside 5G broadband, advanced manufacturing and others.

Redirect funding: The order will direct federal funding agencies to prioritize investments in artificial intelligence.

"Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and global leaders in AI", according to a statement from the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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

"It is encouraging to see the White House take action on AI at a time when competition in these strategic technologies is clearly intensifying", Elsa Kania, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told reporters before Trump officially signed the memo. However, America is hardly the first to have a national AI initiative.

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.

The order doesn't cover intellectual property protections or export controls, which the administration has sought to use to constrain China in other areas, but aims to open markets for USA companies.

The order directs federal agencies to make government data and computing resources more available to artificial intelligence experts while maintaining security and confidentiality. That includes high school, undergraduate and graduate fellowships, alternative education and training programs and other scholarships.