WASHINGTON | The Latest: White House launches new AI effort

Howard TerryMay 14, 2018

According to the charter of the committee, these include the undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology from the Department of Commerce, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering at the Department of Defense, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the undersecretary of energy for science within the Department of Energy, the director of the National Science Foundation, and the director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

"There's simply no replacement for the federal government significantly increasing support for fundamental research to bolster university research", Buck wrote.

Technology leaders have pushed the administration to be more focused on both the economic potential of AI technologies and the disruption it could cause to existing jobs.

While the Obama administration also warned against a rush to add regulations on AI, it had called for assurances that AI "systems will operate safely and securely, in a controlled, well-defined, and well-understood manner".

He said recommendations issued by the since-disbanded U.S. Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Taskforce would be a good starting point for a "definitive" U.S. national strategy on AI.

The European Union's executive branch said last month it wants the bloc's governments and companies to invest at least $24 billion in AI through 2020 in an attempt to remain globally competitive.

The Trump administration's commitment to science and technology education, he said, is part of its plan to adapt. Holdren noted that his former job leading the almost 40-year-old Office of Science and Technology Policy remains unfilled.

The White House says the new committee will coordinate AI activities across federal agencies, including research and policy related to self-driving vehicles, biometric identification, computer vision and robotics. Today's summit convened expert AI researchers, industry leaders, and senior government officials to discuss policies to fully realize the promise of AI for the American people. The event was closed to the press.

Dean Garfield, who heads the Information Technology Industry Council trade group, said the White House's attention to AI is "better late than never". "Meanwhile, the US disbanded its AI taskforce in 2016".

Garfield said that as new technology displaces some job roles, "the government is well-situated to make sure that people are also deployed in the competencies and in the places those jobs will be".

Kratsios acknowledged the issue of job losses, saying, "To a certain degree job displacement is inevitable, but we can't sit idle, hoping eventually the market will sort it out". It will also look for federal government partnership opportunities with companies and academia and open up government data and resources to spur AI development.

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