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Trump to sign executive order boosting artificial intelligence

Donald Trump signing legislation 2018. Credit: Official White House Photo.

United States President Donald Trump will sign an executive order today asking federal government agencies to commit more investment  and resources into artificial intelligence (AI) research and training, a senior administration official said.

The executive order goes under the name of “Accelerating America’s Leadership in Artificial Intelligence”, and it will call for better reporting and tracking of spending on AI-related research and development.

In his State of the Union speech last week, Trump said he called for the “necessity” to work with lawmakers to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in cutting-edge technologies.

Commenting on the executive order, a senior administration official said that “AI is something that touches every aspect of people’s lives.

“What this initiative attempts to do is to bring all those together under one umbrella and show the promise of this technology for the American people,” the official said.

The executive order will have five “key pillars”. These are the following:

1) Research and development

The Trump administration will prompt agencies to “prioritise AI investments” in their spending, but did not detail how much funding the White House will request to support the initiative. The initiative also calls for better reporting of AI Research and Development spending by agencies, to get a more accurate overview of how much is spent across the government.

2) Infrastructure

Agencies are expected to help researchers access federal data, algorithms, and computer processing.

3) Governance

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other groups are expected to draft together general guidelines for governing AI to ensure its safe and ethical use. The official couldn’t mention which issues the effort would address specifically, but noted that it will involve experts from the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Defense, and other agencies. The senior administration official also noted that one main concern will be protecting data privacy.

4) Workforce

The White House’s AI advisory committee and its council on job training will search for routes to further workers’ educations. Agencies will also be asked to create fellowships and training programs in computer science. 

5) International engagement

The administration hopes to collaborate on AI with other countries, while not compromising American interests or ceding any US technological edge. When asked, the official refused to directly answer questions about how that will relate to China’s challenges to US interests.

The US president is expected to sign more executive orders in the coming weeks, including quantum technology and the development of 5G.

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BY SHACK15

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