Wednesday, Mar 20 2019

How the U.S. Plans to Become the Global Leader in AI Research

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How the US Plans to Become the Global Leader in AI Research


Artificial intelligence (AI) is making waves in nearly every industry and country. President Donald Trump’s recent “American AI Initiative” aims to make the United States a forerunner in the area of AI research, taking on challengers like China to make sure the geopolitical landscape favors the US in this arena.

Trump’s Executive Order

The “American AI Initiative” executive order intends to make AI research a priority for the US. However, it is also very broad in regards to how this should be accomplished.

At this time, new federal funding for projects involving AI and machine learning has not been allocated. Instead, government agencies are tasked with shifting existing funding into the area of AI research, as well as open up certain resources – like datasets and models – to researchers and tech professionals as a means of furthering innovation.

Additionally, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will also begin creating standards surrounding the safety and reliability of AI systems. Fellowship and skills programs are also in the works, allowing members of the workforce to learn what they need to know to excel in a future filled with AI.


The Need for National AI Policy

In order to remain a player in the AI race, the US needs to create national policy that prioritizes the technology, recognizes the potential of AI, and works to harness artificial intelligence for the country’s gain.

Other nations, particularly China, have already taken similar action, devoting resources to the exploration and furthering of AI technology in hopes of shifting the geopolitical landscape in their favor.

Without national policy, states may incidentally segment available data, creating silos at the state-level. As a result, additional funding may be necessary to promote greater access to the needed information and coordinate efforts on a larger scale.


Long-Term Commitment

While the “American AI Initiative” is a strong step toward furthering the position of the US, it can only be effective if there is a long-term commitment to the concept. Not only will this require action today, but also dedication well into the future.

Plus, there also has to be a willingness to adapt along the way. New policies could influence the use of data and AI systems, particularly if new standards emerge that restrict how these platforms can be developed and used.

Federal guidelines on AI could also impact or conflict with existing and upcoming privacy regulations. This adds a level of complexity for those interesting in building tools that harness the potential of AI.

Ultimately, the US is taking formal steps to help establish the nation as a leader in the world of AI. However, the landscape could change as new policies and regulations set standards that must be respected and followed.


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