White House Hosts Meeting on Future of Artificial Intelligence

12 May, 2018, 20:45 | Author: Diane Mills
  • White House AI Summit

"The Trump administration will ensure our great nation remains the global leader in AI", the president's technology adviser, Michael Kratsios, said to a gathering of corporate leaders Thursday. The Obama administration published two comprehensive reports on AI: Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy. The gathering signals USA commitment to artificial intelligence at a time when other countries are boosting their own investments, according to an AI expert at Cornell University.

In addition to issuing broad statements of support for the continued development of AI to benefit US economic development and national security, the White House said it looks forward to "continued engagement" on the issue with the private sector, government agencies, and academia.

The White House announced plans for the committee at a May 10 summit of more than 100 industry, government and academic representatives in the field.

On a broad level, the budget funds AI research at the National Science Foundation and applied R&D in the Department of Transportation to develop autonomous systems. The leaders of France and the United Kingdom have talked about making AI investments while also outlining concerns about developing the new technology with ethical guidelines. Trump has yet to appoint an assistant to the president for science and technology policy, who traditionally oversees the OSTP and NSTC.

The White House says the new committee will coordinate AI activities across federal agencies, including research and policy related to self-driving vehicles, biometric identification, computer vision and robotics. He called for a "free-market approach" that would harness the combined strength of government, industry and academia while limiting regulation that could "hamstring" companies, according to his prepared remarks.

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He said it's also important to make it easier for startups to participate so that the technology - and the reams of online data it learns from - isn't tightly controlled by a small group of large companies.

"This is not a call for a swarm of new laws and regulations", Krzanich said.

"To a certain degree, job displacement is inevitable", he said, noting that the administration has taken steps such as STEM grant funding "to ease the transition for workers and aid industries hungry for talent".

Dean Garfield, the CEO of the trade association Information Technology Industry Council, commended the new AI task force in a statement. It will also look for federal government partnership opportunities with companies and academia and open up government data and resources to spur AI development.

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