Trump Administration Homes in on the Promises of Artificial Intelligence

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In recent days, the Trump Administration has homed in on the promises of artificial intelligence (AI).  On Thursday, the White House issued an AI fact sheet titled, “Artificial Intelligence for the American People.” The fact outlines the Administration’s commitment to investing in AI research and development, creating a regulatory environment that fosters innovation pertaining to AI, and providing workers with 21st Century job skills. 

In addition, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) chartered the National Science and Technology Council Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, with the goal of sustaining and enhancing U.S. leadership in AI.  The stated purpose of this Select Committee is “to advise and assist the NSTC to improve the overall effectiveness and productivity of Federal research and development (R&D) efforts related to artificial intelligence.”  It will also “address significant national and international policy matters that cut across agency boundaries and shall provide a formal mechanism for interagency policy coordination and the development of Federal artificial intelligence activities.”  According to OSTP’s charter, the goal is to sustain and improve U.S. leadership in AI.

On top of  releasing the Fact Sheet and chartering a new Select Committee on AI, the White House held a Summit on Thursday focusing on AI and emerging technologies, meeting with executives from several major U.S. companies to discuss ways to adapt regulations to encourage innovation in the AI space, particularly in the fields of agriculture, health care, and transportation.  Public research funding and workforce education were also key areas of focus during the meeting.

All of these developments reflect a significant push by the Administration to encourage future growth in AI, and a commitment to ensuring that the United States remains at the forefront of AI technology on the global stage – a much welcomed sign indeed since other countries, like China and France, have rolled out strategic AI plans and investment in the technology. 

Fortunately, the Administration has also recognized that in order to lead in AI and the development of new technologies, current and future workers need to have 21st Century job skills.  Investing in STEM education and promoting continuous training programs are a couple of ways to address this challenge which will ensure that newly created jobs can be filled and the economic growth stemming from AI will continue.

The White House AI  summit and the “Game-Changer” AI hearings recently held on Capitol Hill are critical steps to ensuring that the U.S. remains a world leader in AI.    As the Government continues modernizing its technology, it has much to learn from private-sector successes.  Working together, the government and U.S. industry leaders will ensure that the United States remains on the cutting edge of AI technology and grant the government the ability to address challenges that may arise as its implemented without causing harm to innovation.

Diane Diane Pinto is the Public Policy Coordinator at SIIA. Follow the Policy team on Twitter @SIIAPolicy.