White House Updates AI R&D Plan

The White House has updated its strategic plan for research and development of artificial intelligence, with a new emphasis on coordinated efforts among government, private industry and academia.

The update is to a 2016 plan under President Obama, and reflects the emphasis President Trump put on the issue in the State of the Union and in the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative executive order he issued back in February, the goal of which is to "maintain American leadership in AI and ensure that AI benefits the American people and reflects our Nation’s values.

“This coordinated Federal strategy for AI R&D will encourage advances in AI that will grow our economy, increase our national security, and improve quality of life," said Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the President for technology policy.

The plan addendum re-emphasizes and updates the seven previously identified strategies and adds an eighth--"effective partnerships between the Federal Government and academia, industry, other non-Federal entities, and international allies to generate technological breakthroughs in AI and to rapidly transition those breakthroughs into capabilities."

"With the addition of public-private partnerships as a key area for Federal R&D investment," says Kratsios, "our update underscores the Administration’s commitment to leverage the full strength of America’s innovation ecosystem.

"The landscape for AI R&D is becoming increasingly complex, due to the significant investments that are being made by industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, AI advancements are progressing rapidly. The Federal Government must therefore continually reevaluate its priorities for AI R&D investments to ensure that investments continue to advance the cutting edge of the field and are not unnecessarily duplicative of industry investments."

Neither the plan nor the update identify specific research agendas, but these are the eight strategies:

Strategy 1: "Make long-term investments in AI research. Prioritize investments in the next generation of AI that will drive discovery and insight and enable the United States to remain a world leader in AI.

Strategy 2: "Develop effective methods for human-AI collaboration. Increase understanding of how to create AI systems that effectively complement and augment human capabilities.

Strategy 3: "Understand and address the ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI. Research AI systems that incorporate ethical, legal, and societal concerns through technical mechanisms.

Strategy 4: "Ensure the safety and security of AI systems. Advance knowledge of how to design AI systems that are reliable, dependable, safe, and trustworthy.

Strategy 5: "Develop shared public datasets and environments for AI training and testing. Develop and enable access to high-quality datasets and environments, as well as to testing and training resources.

Strategy 6: "Measure and evaluate AI technologies through standards and benchmarks. Develop a broad spectrum of evaluative techniques for AI, including technical standards and benchmarks.

Strategy 7: "Better understand the national AI R&D workforce needs. Improve opportunities for R&D workforce development to strategically foster an AI-ready workforce.

Strategy 8: "Expand public-private partnerships to accelerate advances in AI. Promote opportunities for sustained investment in AI R&D and for transitioning advances into practical capabilities, in collaboration with academia, industry, international partners, and other non-Federal entities. "

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.