Trump orders government to prioritize artificial intelligence
WASHINGTON, DC, USA – President Donald Trump on Monday, February 11, ordered the US administration to give greater priority to artificial intelligence, a move seen as firing up a battle for leadership with China.
The American AI Initiative executive order calls for the administration to "devote the full resources of the federal government" to help fuel AI innovation.
"Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and international leaders in AI," a White House statement said.
"However, as the pace of AI innovation increases around the world, we cannot sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed."
The order however stops short of specific funding or a detailed strategy for deployment of artificial intelligence.
The move comes amid growing concerns that China will overtake the United States in key areas of artificial intelligence, helped by a broad national strategy and accelerating investment.
Darrell West, head of the Brookings Institution's Center for Technology Innovation, said the White House move was "timely" but that it remained uncertain how it would be implemented without clear funding.
"The president sometimes launches initiatives that sound good but have little actual impact," West said.
"China is investing $150 billion by 2030 with the goal of becoming the preeminent AI country in the world. It is important for the US to keep pace because AI will transform many different sectors."
Daniel Castro of the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank which follows technology issues, offered a similarly cautious response.
"If the administration wants its AI initiative to be transformative, it will need to do more than reprogram existing funds for AI research, skill development, and infrastructure development." (READ: AI system spots childhood disease like a doctor)
Castro welcomed the initiative but called for a more comprehensive AI strategy that covers areas such as digital free trade, data collection policies and other issues.
Senator Marco Rubio called the initiative a "good start," writing on Twitter: "China is the most comprehensive challenge we have faced from a near peer adversary in over half a century. Confronting it will require a comprehensive response."
The White House said the plan calls for "unleashing AI" by making more resources available to researchers, setting guidelines for regulations, promoting AI in education and improving US competitiveness.
The statement made no mention of China but called for "an action plan to protect the advantage of the United States in AI and technology critical to United States national and economic security interests against strategic competitors and foreign adversaries." – Rappler.com
In an industry as rapidly changing as technology, our Tech section seeks to be always up-to-speed with the latest technology news, gadget and app reviews, tips and analysis.
However, reader support powers our of content. Help us keep you updated by joining Rappler PLUS.
Through Rappler PLUS, you will receive special editorial newsletters, industry reports, and invites to exclusive briefings.
But more than that, you will enable us to continue telling more stories.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.