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Trump signs executive order 'prioritizing' AI development

The 'American AI Initiative' also calls for a regulatory framework across industries.
Saqib Shah, @eightiethmnt
February 11, 2019
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Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

After the President largely avoided the subject of AI in his SOTU address, a new directive could shape the nascent sector as it spills into everything from healthcare to military warfare. Trump's "American AI Initiative" directs federal agencies to prioritize AI in their research and development, however it did not announce any specific funding assigned for these goals.

It also includes language aimed at increasing efforts to educate American workers using a mix of programs spearheaded by the National Council for the American Worker and AI fellowships care of federal agencies. In addition, it calls upon the government to improve access to cloud computing and data-sharing for the development of new AI systems.

The executive order comes amid growing concerns over China's push to become a global AI superpower and the threat of job losses in the impending age of automation. The initiative also urges federal branches to establish a regulatory framework for AI across industrial sectors. This despite the Trump administration's past assurances to big tech that it would take a hands-off approach to the field.

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