Trumps orders government to prioritise artificial intelligence

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order asking federal government agencies to dedicate more resources and investment into research, promotion and training on artificial intelligence, known as AI. Trump directed all agencies to prioritize research and development funding for AI and prepare implementation strategies to take full advantage of the power of AI technology.

Ivanka Trump and Chris Liddell, a former Microsoft Corp. chief financial officer who is now a deputy chief of staff to the president, planned to attend the signing ceremony, according to a statement the White House issued in advance. Similar funding initiatives and development plans for AI innovation have already been established by several countries, including France and China. However, while the goals are lofty, the details are vague. It urges other countries to open markets for American AI industries while ensuring the technology developed in a manner consistent with American values and interests. It suggests apprenticeships, fellowships, skills programs and STEM education.

AI researchers will need to have computer models, computing resources, and federal data to kickstart projects.

"Maintaining American leadership in AI requires a concerted effort to promote advancements in technology and innovation, while protecting American technology, economic and national security, civil liberties, privacy, and American values and enhancing worldwide and industry collaboration with foreign partners and allies".

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The order calls upon heads of government AI R&D agencies to explore opportunities for collaboration with non-federal organizations, including those in the private sector, academia, and non-profit realms.

It is vital for prosperity and security that the United States keeps its leadership position in development and implementation of AI technologies.

While China has made massive investments the past few years, it lags behind the U.S.in its talent pool - 8.9 percent of the global workforce compared to 13.9 percent from the USA - according to a report from the China Institute for Science and Technology Policy.

Brynjolfsson said it's important for USA policymakers to not only push the AI technology frontier, but also think hard about values and how the technology is implemented. In 2017, Beijing unveiled plans to establish a $150 billion domestic AI industry by 2030. It bases these conclusions on the amount of patents each country has, among other things, and IBM is the biggest company with nearly 9,000 patents. The Chinese government has made a 10-fold increase in AI output a national priority for coming years, and many companies there are deploying machine-learning systems to update banking services, identify faces in crowds, and control drones.

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