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Trump to Lay Out an Artificial Intelligence Plan

Do you support Trump's AI plan?

by Axios | 2.11.19

In a move aimed squarely at China's swift rise in artificial intelligence, President Trump plans to sign an executive order Monday to strengthen the U.S.'s global position in AI competition.

Why it matters: Two years ago, Beijing launched a mammoth effort to turn China into a global torchbearer for emerging technologies. Trump's new order appears to be the beginnings of an American response — but it's light on details and carries no resources to back it up.

What's happening: White House officials shared a summary of the order on Sunday but haven't yet released a final text.

Between the lines: The American AI Initiative, as the new strategy is named, is unlikely to call out China directly. Administration officials skirted reporters' questions about China during a Sunday press conference.

  • But there's little doubt among experts that the administration is responding to Beijing's unrelenting push to fund Chinese AI research, encourage its implementation, and export AI tools.
  • "This executive order is about ensuring continued America leadership in AI, which includes ensuring AI technologies reflect American values, policies, and priorities," an administration official told Axios.

Details: Among the goals of the initiative are boosting investment in AI research, setting standards for AI systems developed in and out of government, training an AI-competent workforce, and involving allies in new strategies.

  • "It is encouraging to see the White House take action on AI at a time when competition in these strategic technologies is clearly intensifying," says Elsa Kania, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. "China's ambitions to lead the world in AI present a direct and credible challenge to American leadership in innovation."
  • The plan "certainly begins to address criticism about the administration lacking an AI strategy," says Lauren Bedula, vice president of consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies.

But, but, but: It's not clear yet how much muscle the administration intends to put behind its words.

  • The new initiative appears to do little more than send a strong signal to the federal government that AI is a prime concern.
  • For example, the administration said it would "prioritize" AI research funding, but did not announce any new resources for AI development, an area in which the U.S. lags significantly behind China.

The coming executive order is "significant," says Wendy R. Anderson, general manager for defense and national security at SparkCognition, an AI company — but it's thin on details.

  • "If there's no implementation plan behind the EO — with details, deadlines, and funding — then it may be worse than no EO at all," Anderson, who was previously chief of staff to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, tells Axios.
  • The strategy to beat is China's, which sets out clear goals and deadlines, pursues them at every level of government, and has a concrete plan for funding them.

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Axios

Written by Axios

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(55)
  • Mack
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    Do you really want someone with no intelligence to plan artificial intelligence?

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  • M
    last Monday
    ···

    OK, let us first wrap our brains around the use of "Trump" and "intelligence" in the same sentence. The AI push announcement looks very much like Trump Administration typical "all suit, no man" big news press realease announcing big initiative with no substance, no plan, and no funding.

    Like (21)
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  • Dave
    Voted Support
    last Monday
    ···

    President Trump plans to sign an executive order on artificial intelligence. He has first hand on artificial intelligent and is an example of what can go wrong!

    Like (8)
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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    For what purpose is there an executive order? Most representatives and senators acknowledge that AI is the future and would likely support an ethical AI program. The only reason I could see the use of an Executive Order, is to push through something that is unethical and possibly unconstitutional. Artificial Intelligence absolutely requires major ethics reviews and compliance (Something that Conservatives around the world and American Republicans simply do not possess).

    Like (12)
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  • Loretta
    last Monday
    ···

    Not sure if this is an OXYMORON since Trump's intelligence is artificial!!!

    Like (7)
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  • Andrew
    Voted Support
    last Monday
    ···

    Trump is a business man. So when he’ see’s the competition taking a lead on something, he’s going to react. That’s probably why there were no specifics in the plan. In any case, I’m for it. We should stay ahead of China, and not let other countries get the technological advantage over us. I’m speaking from a military perspective as well.

    Like (3)
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  • Kari
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    The AI tech that China uses is specifically for tracking people. I’m not down with Big Brother programs, because they infringe on our right to privacy.

    Like (11)
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  • Tinee
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    Intelligence real or artificial is not something that comes to mind, when I hear the Trump or his administration are involved.

    Like (9)
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  • Hillary
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    No executive order needed. Use senators and representatives to do their jobs. If we want to keep our tech here then build the factories and parts here. Don’t do it halfway then complain that it didn’t work. West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, these states would be elated to have Apple or others build there. Refit factories or build new but do it here. If iPhones are going to cost a thousand dollars let’s let some of that pay our neighbors.

    Like (8)
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  • Azrael
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    See me in 2020 when science and scientist will be permitted to do their jobs

    Like (8)
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  • Granita
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    It seems to me that Trump's reason for even THINKING about artificial intelligence is for competition, period. Is this a part of borderline security? What is the purpose for it?

    Like (6)
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  • Steve
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    Trump is moron. I support nothing this treasonous bigot proposes.

    Like (6)
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  • Glowurm
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    EVERYTHING the orange pig puts out is full of crap. He takes advice from people who are just as ignorant as he is. Therefore, whatever he proposes is flawed from the get go. We need someone who knows that no one knows everything and those who think they do are the most ignorant of all! You hear that, orange pig? So why would we even want you to stick your sticky, little fingers into Artificial Intelligence? Something you, absolutely, know nothing about. I say, “Absolutely not!” At least, not until he’s gone for good!

    Like (5)
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  • Phillip
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    If we can get past the obvious oxymoron of trump and intelligence in the same sentence. It boggles my mind that our military and intelligence communities let alone private business is not already well aware of our extreme lack of ability and progress on this. Do they actually need a political stunt paper to action something?? It’s sort of almost Like we are shutting the barn door. After the horse bolted and the past two years of government have had their head in the sand trying to return us to a prior time.

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  • doingmypart
    Voted Oppose
    last Tuesday
    ···

    First you need intelligence, before you understand the concept of artificial intelligence. This is like the blind leading the blind or should I say, the blind being led by a willfully ignorant blind orange racist.

    Like (5)
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  • Joanne
    Voted Oppose
    last Tuesday
    ···

    Associating Trumpf and intelligence in the same sentence is hilarious.

    Like (4)
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  • Mary
    Voted Oppose
    last Wednesday
    ···

    There is no plan... like everything Trump does, it is very light on details.

    Like (4)
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  • Melony
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    Is that connected to his “Space Force?” Another delusional toy for make believe executive time🙄

    Like (4)
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  • Brian
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    I support the administration having an AI plan, but this administration is mostly talk and no action, especially on anything other than military deployment. Additionally, most agencies are severely understaffed and under-resourced, so who will implement any plan? Congress should take action immediately on a comprehensive bill with full funding for AI research, strategy, and defense. I know that may not happen but we can't afford to allow more meaningless executive actions that go nowhere.

    Like (3)
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  • Poli.Sci
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    I understand what Trump is doing here and I believe the US should be a leader in AI technology, but there’s one thing I cannot agree on is that the PRC is pushing AI through massive public spending by borrowing and raising taxes. The PRC is a Communist socialist state with a high degree of Capitalism, something I will never support. AI needs to be led by our companies that are manufacturing all this technology anyways, like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. These companies can provide the resources, but not the State. I will not watch my hard earned money get shoved into a program that will suck up billions of dollars and is barely thought out, much like our rapidly declining educational communities. Instead, we need a plan that is not created on an Executive Order, an overreach of the Executive System because we are already entangled in a botched Executive Order right now involving Obamacare.

    Like (3)
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  • Steve
    Voted Oppose
    last Monday
    ···

    How can an imbecile have an intelligence plan? IMPEACH the moron.

    Like (3)
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