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Trump to create American AI Initiative with executive order

12 February 2019

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today announcing the "American AI Initiative", reports the MIT Technology Review.

The plan, called the American AI Initiative, is meant to enhance national and economic security and improve Americans' quality of life. While the order states that it hopes to "promote scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security", it provides little in the way of financial support for that endeavor.

Follow the White House OSTP on Twitter for more updates on the Trump administration's "American AI Initiative".

The order will instruct federal agencies to focus on artificial intelligence in their research and development efforts, senior administration officials said, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

President Donald Trump waves after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

While an official American AI Initiative is a welcome move, those in the industry will be disappointed that the initiative doesn't actually include any new funding for AI development and is pretty light on details besides those laid out above.

The Hill noted that other United States agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), were rushing to invest in AI that will "improve predictions of hurricanes and severe storms", according to an agency statement obtained by the publication. However, America is hardly the first to have a national AI initiative.

Worldwide links: The US will collaborate on AI with other nations, but ensure that it develops in a way that works with American "values and interests".

But so far, New Zealand is behind other countries in encouraging AI, and creating an ethical framework, Callaghan boss Victoria Crone says.

The order doesn't cover intellectual property protections or export controls, which the administration has sought to use to constrain China in other areas, but aims to open markets for US companies. "Companies like Google are also expanding their operations in countries like China, France and Canada, as the A.I. talent in those countries continues to expand".

The order calls for making federal data and computing resources more accessible to researchers, and for federal government agencies to use fellowships and training programs to prepare workers to operate in positions that utilize artificial intelligence.

Trump to create American AI Initiative with executive order