Government Backs a Future of Artificial Intelligence

The future of artificial intelligence just got jacked up, thanks to an executive order from the President. Like many things that offer wings, though, there are some issues with this new direction.

So, what happened? Well, Trump, who likes to try to be the best at all the things, basically doesn’t want another country sneaking up and taking the title of “AI World Leader” from the USA. So, his administration, which hasn’t previously taken much interest in the topic, finally realized that most of the other nations of the world were paying attention to, and investing in, programs that will help further their AI initiatives. Enter the “American AI Initiative,” which will apparently be our guiding light for development of this technology.

Great, so what’s it do? Well, here’s a summary of the executive order’s five principles:

  • The USA is tasks with focusing on driving breakthroughs in technology, specifically in the AI sphere, “across the Federal Government, industry, and academia.” This is in an effort to not only advance the field, but also to promote “scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security.” Got it, so Trump wants us to be the most, best, top, leader of AI.
  • The next area of focus is all about AI standards. As a developing technology, there really aren’t worldwide recognized standards. This order aims to have the USA drive “technical standards and reduce barriers” that might impeded how AI is tested and deployed. This will not only fuel the creation of the emerging AI industry, but it will also motivate existing industries to adopt AI technologies into their business plans.
  • As AI becomes more important to our economy, it’s going to impact our workforce as well. The order includes a call to “train current and future generations of American workers” so that they have the skills to not only use, but also evolve, AI technologies. This supports both the workforce and the job market that we’ll likely be facing in the future.
  • Privacy and trust are already a hot-button issue in the industry, and this executive order addresses that by stating that the USA “must foster public trust and confidence in AI technologies and protect civil liberties, privacy, and American values” through the application of AI. This is in an effort to help AI reach its full potential within our society.
  • The order also reflects on how American AI will work in the bigger picture, with international markets. This policy is heavy on The America of it all, stating that we will “promote an international environment that supports American AI research and innovation and opens markets for American AI industries,” with a whopping side of protecting our own butts.

On paper, sure, that all sound great. The problem is that there are some pretty big issues that aren’t addressed in the policies and principles, including immigration and new funding. There is also a tone that seems to disregard input that could have come from experts and leaders in the AI and technology fields.

I’m excited that AI is getting some support, but I hope that we continue to redefine the exact policies and principles so that more issues are addressed.