Trump Issues Executive Order to Maintain America's Supremacy in AI
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Trump Issues Executive Order to Maintain America's Supremacy in AI

By IndraStra Global News Team

Trump Issues Executive Order to Maintain America's Supremacy in AI

On February 11, 2019, U.S. President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence (AI). — which directly calls for a "concerted effort" to promote advancements in AI technologies and innovations by converting the breakthroughs into capabilities that contribute to America's economic and national security, while at the same time protecting American values and interest with respect to civil liberties, and privacy. This executive order formally kickstarted the "American AI Initiative".

Earlier in May 2018, Former U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis shot a memo to the President, calling for the creation of a comprehensive national strategy for AI. According to the sources based at The New York Times (those who read the memo), it (the memo) reflected a growing sense of urgency among defense officials about AI which could be the "next technological game changer" in "warfare".

The executive order reads, "Continued American leadership in AI is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States and to shaping the global evolution of AI in a manner consistent with our Nation’s values, policies, and priorities." Also, it calls for close collaboration between Federal Entities, Non-Federal Entities, Foreign Partners and Allies.

This initiative takes a multipronged approach to accelerate America's leadership in AI, and includes five key areas of emphasis:

1) Investing in AI Research and Development (R&D)

2) Unleashing AI Resources

3) Setting AI Governance Standards

4) Building the AI Workforce

5) International Engagement and Protecting America's AI Advantage

The executive order was signed just less than a week after Trump’s State of the Union address when he said investments in "cutting edge industries of the future" are "a necessity." Industry watchers are considering this move to counter China's rise in AI - where academic and commercial organizations have been instructed by the Communist Party of China that new technologies developed by the private sector must be shared with the military under "military-civil fusion/ junmin ronghe (军民融合)." - an institutional framework introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 18th National Congress held in November 2012.

As of now, it is very much unclear how this "new initiative" significantly matches with the Obama Administration’s National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan (which was issued in October 2016).

With reporting by Bloomberg, The New York Times, The White House, and Reuters