The American AI Initiative is a welcome step towards boosting U.S. competitiveness in AI, but it does not go far enough. Without more substantial efforts from the Trump administration and Congress, the United States will struggle to compete with other countries that have developed aggressive national AI strategies, and the economy will be worse off for it.
We know that China, France and the U.K. have invested and committed billions already to their own AI initiatives. The American AI Initiative as it stands does little to blunt the fears that America will fall behind in its technological edge. In fact, its lack of particulars sends exactly the opposite message. If the government wants to demonstrate its support for AI, it needs to commit significant funding and investment in education to retain, attract and grow the talent necessary to support such a critical industry...
“Artificial Intelligence” (AI) may bring to mind any number of futuristic pop culture references, from “Star Wars” to “Westworld”, and it may seem like something that’s decades or even centuries away. The reality is that AI is already here - it’s in the apps we use to navigate through traffic, it protects us from spam emails and more nefarious online security threats, and it’s what responds when we say “OK Google...” and “Alexa?”
Unfortunately, we seem to be sleepwalking into our AI future without talking about what we want from it, or how to make sure it is used responsibly. Part of the blame lies with the news media’s coverage of AI. Recent studies find that media treatment of AI mostly follows industry announcements and new product launches, helping to purvey the industry’s self-interested view of AI’s value and desirability. The public, by contrast, seems to be more cautious -- and overwhelmingly in favor of close management of AI, preferably not by tech companies themselves.
AI has been used in ed tech classroom applications for some time. Like smart speakers in homes, AI-powered tools in schools are growing at an exponential rate. But their level of effectiveness in meeting student-learning outcomes is a topic of much debate.
President Donald Trump, through an executive order he signed last Monday, doubled down on making artificial intelligence research a top priority for the public and private sectors. But the new head of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy said the United States lacks answers to basic questions about the current state of AI research.
The executive order is the first attempt by the Trump administration to lay out its views about artificial intelligence. It says AI “promises to drive growth” and that the US must “maintain leadership” in the field, and it puts agencies on notice that the White House expects them to pay attention to the subject. It also encourages the availability of big data sets that could be used to train AI. systems.
Diagnosing an illness requires taking in a lot of information and connecting the dots. Artificial intelligence may be well-suited to such a task and in recent tests one system could diagnose children’s illnesses better than some doctors.
The “American AI Initiative” comes at a time when the US is competing fiercely with China and other countries to better develop AI technology -- which has wide-reaching applications, from the military to the health sector. The Chinese government released its own sweeping AI plan nearly two years ago and has committed tens of billions of dollars in spending toward developing it. The US, so far, has put out some research reports on the state of AI but has lacked any federal-level national policy agenda.
The U.S. military wants to expand its use of artificial intelligence in warfare, but says it will take care to deploy the technology in accordance with the nation's values. The Pentagon outlined its first AI strategy in a report released Tuesday. The plan calls for accelerating the use of AI systems throughout the military, from intelligence-gathering operations to predicting maintenance problems in planes or ships. It urges the U.S. to advance such technology swiftly before other countries chip away at its technological advantage.