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Trump intends to spur US artificial intelligence development with executive order

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Chris Liddell Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination, Adviser to the President Ivanka Trump and invited guests, as he display his signature after signing the Executive Order on “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Joyce N. Boghosian/White House)
February 12, 2019

President Donald Trump on Monday used an executive order to launch a new commitment to the development of artificial intelligence in the United States — an effort to maintain America’s lead in the industry.

Trump signed the American AI Initiative, which he said will establish the groundwork for reallocating federal funding and other resources toward increasing AI industries. But the program, at least for now, remains light on details — such as how it will be financed and the nature of its specific goals.

In a message that announced Trump’s executive order, and posted on the White House website,Trump cited the necessity of America maintaining its lead in artificial intelligence as critical to the future of the country.

“Continued American leadership in Artificial Intelligence is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States,” Trump said.

The initiative comes as the U.S. continues to engage in trade negotiations with China in an effort to avert new tariffs on goods imported from each nation. Among the issues the U.S. wants resolved is what it sees as China’s role in the theft of American intellectual property, and forcing foreign companies to share their technologies in order get access to the Chinese market.

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The order is set to have five key components:

  • Redirect funding so that federal agencies make artificial intelligence an investment priority.
  • Create resources to give AI researchers more access to federal data, computer models and computing resources.
  • Direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish new standards that will promote the development of stronger and more secure AI systems that are interoperable and portable.
  • Call on federal agencies to put a greater priority on retraining and preparing workers to use AI technologies.
  • Build a strategy for greater engagement that also ensures American interests and values are central to the development of artificial intelligence on the international market.

Trump’s executive order comes on the heels of his State of the Union address last week, when he mentioned giving more federal support to what he called “industries of the future.”

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© 2019 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.