Trump Signs Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence. Here's What You Need to Know.

Posted: Feb 11, 2019 5:55 PM
Trump Signs Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence. Here's What You Need to Know.

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order launching a new artificial intelligence initiative geared towards creating cutting-edge technology. The goal is to assure the United States remains ahead of other nations, like China, on the technology front.

Trump's policy, called the American A.I. Initiative, makes research and development of artificial intelligence capabilities a national priority. It also means federal agencies must now work together to develop regulatory and ethics rules for how artificial intelligence is utilized. Agencies must also track their spending on A.I. research and development, The Washington Times reported.

Those in the artificial intelligence community have worried about China's plans for global A.I. domination.

“The good news is America’s research infrastructure in artificial intelligence is leading the world,” Erik Brynjolfsson, a management professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the Associated Press. “But other countries are making much more aggressive investments and rapidly closing the gap, especially China.”

From The New York Times:

The executive order aimed to better educate workers in the field, improve access to the cloud computing services and data needed to build A.I. systems, and promote cooperation with foreign powers. But the order did not set aside funds for A.I. research and development, and the administration provided few details on how it planned put its new policies into effect.

The United States is engaged in an increasingly bitter trade war with China. And while American companies like Google and Amazon are now leaders in A.I., experts in the field are concerned that China could surpass the United States in the development of technologies that will power surveillance systems and autonomous weapons as well as driverless cars and a wide range of internet services.

The United States isn't the only country making this move. The European Union and the United Kingdom also plan to devote a number of resources to A.I. research and development.

The move comes after the White House met with CEOs from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Qualcomm back in December. The goal was to hear their ideas for advancing A.I in America.