Trump signs order prioritising AI research

US President Donald Trump ordered the government to give greater priority to artificial intelligence but critics said the executive order lacked key details

Trump signs order prioritising AI research

On Monday, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order instructing federal agencies to dedicate more resources to artificial intelligence.

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

The plan, called the American AI Initiative, is meant to enhance national and economic security and improve Americans' quality of life.

Trump signed the directive Monday.

A senior administration official said the plan does not include funding details and it's up to Congress to appropriate money.

The initiative is the first step taken by the United States government to outline some sort of guidelines to help shape its ambitions in machine learning.

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Trump's EO focuses on maintaining the country's research and development on cutting-edge technology to benefit Americans.

First, the executive order will urge federal funding agencies to step up AI investments.

Without naming China explicitly, Trump's order does state that the U.S. "must promote an worldwide environment that supports American AI research and innovation and opens markets for American AI industries, while protecting our technological advantage in AI and protecting our critical AI technologies from acquisition by strategic competitors and adversarial nations". It bases these conclusions on the amount of patents each country has, among other things, and IBM is the biggest company with nearly 9,000 patents.

US efforts to jump-start its AI R&D have stumbled, with the US Department of Defense being reluctant to totally overhaul its legacy systems and US corporations like Google getting cold feet about helping the US state develop weapons of war that make use of artificial intelligence.

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 USA companies.

Under the American AI Initiative, the administration will direct agencies to prioritize AI investments in research and development, increase access to federal data and models for that research and prepare workers to adapt to the era of AI.

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