American AI Initiative — to keep America First in AI
The U.S leads
the world in AI emerging technology. After years of federal research funding,
industrial and academic research, and streams of foreign talent have put the
tech-giant country at the forefront of the current AI boom.
Since having the
foundation, the US government has lacked a high-level strategy to guide
American investment and prepare for the technology’s effects. While artificial
intelligence may have been developed in the United States, but China, Canada,
and France have made bigger moves to integrate AI into various industries.
To address this
issue, President Trump is scheduled to sign an executive order creating a
program called the American AI Initiative. The new initiative doesn’t include
new funding or specific AI projects. But it orders the federal government to
direct and regulate existing funds, programs, and data in support of AI
research and commercialization.
The key focuses
of the “American AI Initiative” have been released ahead of time by the Office
of Science and Technology Policy. It is designed to boost America's AI industry
by reallocating funding, creating new resources, and devising ways for the
country to shape the technology even as it becomes increasingly global.
The AI plan aims to achieve five key things:
Allocate funding: The
order will direct federal funding agencies to prioritize investments against
Create resources: The
initiative will seek to make federal data, computer models, and computing
resources available to AI researchers across the country.
Establish and maintain standards: It will direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) creating standards that foster the development of “reliable,
trustworthy, robust, portable, secure, and interoperable AI systems.”
Upgrade skills: It will
ask agencies to up-skill workers about AI through apprenticeships, skills
programs, and fellowships.
Engage internationally: It
will create a strategy for international integration that ensures AI is developed
in a way that is consistent with American "values and interests."
Each plan could
potentially help boost American AI tech and make the US more competitive over
its competitors — depending on how the plan is executed.
in brief "Industries of the Future" in last week's State of the Union
address, which indicated that the President is preparing a series of executive
orders designed to boost US competitiveness in key technology areas including
AI, 5G, and quantum computing.
Jason Furman, a
professor at Harvard who served as chairman of President Obama's Council of
Economic Advisers, and helped craft administrations influential 2016 report on
AI, says the new AI plan is encouraging but only to a certain extent. "The Administration’s American AI
Initiative includes all of the right elements, the critical test will be to see
if the plan follows through in a vital manner," he says. "The plan is
aspirational with no details and is not self-implementing."