Donald Trump to sign executive order advancing artificial intelligence strategy

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The President was returning to the White House after his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that outlines the federal government's priorities for handling artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

International Engagement: The initiative calls for the U.S. to work with other nations on collaborative AI development, but do so in a way that protects American "values and interests".

This Initiative will focus the resources of the Federal government to develop AI in order to increase our Nation's prosperity, enhance our national and economic security, and improve quality of life for the American people. In particular, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be tasked with developing "appropriate technical standards for reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems", the White House said.

"If the administration wants its AI initiative to be transformative, it will need to do more than reprogramme existing funds for AI research, skill development, and infrastructure development".

The executive order, which will launch an American Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiative, calls for what one official described as "bold, decisive actions to ensure that AI continues to be fueled by American ingenuity, reflects American values and is applied for the benefit of the American people", according to CNN.

Among those, he said OSTP and the White House's Domestic Policy Council and National Economic Council "will work with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders to craft guidance for AI technologies that will promote innovation while respecting privacy, civil liberties, and American values". This initiative positions the USA to begin dictating standardization policies around developing "reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems", through agencies including the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The administration affirmed the importance of AI for national competitiveness and security, but also acknowledged the impact it will have on America's workers, calling for greater education and training of a workforce capable of using AI.

It is vital for prosperity and security that the United States keeps its leadership position in development and implementation of AI technologies. The tension between the nations is notable with the back-and-forth trade war, as well as the United States' threats and actions toward Chinese tech company Huawei, which the federal government accuses of pilfering USA intellectual property and trade secrets.

While the USA remains home to the majority of AI research and talent, China is quickly catching up, with its government supporting a policy plan to become the world's AI superpower by 2030-similar to an Obama-era AI roadmap released in 2016.

The announcement was a little unusual as AI is supposed to be the technology which will take away large numbers of factory jobs and is the very thing that Trump's own supporters fear the most, other than racial minorities and people with different sexual preferences.