US President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO) directing his government to maintain its dominance in artificial intelligence (AI).
On 11 February 2019, Donald Trump signed the “Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence.” The EO states that US leadership in AI utilization and R&D is a top priority for maintaining US economic and national security.
The EO intends to create an environment conducive to rapid advancements in AI. It urges government, academia, and industry to become venues which stimulate and drive AI breakthroughs.
The EO also encourages the reduction of barriers that slow down the development and deployment of AI technologies. It also directs the government to train its workforce in working with and taking advantage of AI.
To attain the desired outcomes and objectives, an action plan will be developed and implemented. The objectives of the EO address investment, data availability, regulation reduction, technical standards development, and workforce training.
Coordination will be done by the US National Science and Technology Council– Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. The implementation will fall upon the “agencies that conduct foundational AI R&D, develop and deploy applications of AI technologies, provide educational grants, and regulate and provide guidance for applications of AI technologies,” the EO states.
The EO is a proactive initiative by the US government to ensure it maintains its dominance and remain highly competitive in the field of AI.
According to The Economist, the US lags behind eight other countries in terms of its Automation Readiness Index. CNBC also reported that China may eventually overcome the US in the AI race mainly due to the huge difference in government regulation for access to big data.
A report published data indicating that the US still leads the AI race in terms of the availability of talent and companies that specialize in AI. However, China now leads the world in terms of academic paper output and patents related to AI.