On February 11, 2019, President Trump signed an “Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” (the “Order”) and, in doing so, set out a high-level strategy to strengthen the leadership position that the United States has maintained in AI. Important for companies, the Order sets off a number of opportunities for the private sector to give comments back to the federal government on how it can make changes that strengthen private sector AI development.
In recent years, China has made efforts to outpace the United States in developing AI technology, and, while not mentioning China specifically, the Order implicitly acknowledges the increased competition that the United States has faced from China in this area. AI is critical to US economic and national security interests, and the Order hopes to increase AI development through such measures as prioritizing AI research and opening up federal data to non-federal researchers.
The actions required by the Order are aimed at federal agencies that conduct foundational AI R&D, develop and deploy applications of AI technologies, provide educational grants, and regulate and provide guidance for applications of AI technology and will be coordinated through the National Science and Technology Council. While the Order does not place any obligation on the private sector, a number of the federal government activities will have an impact on industry.
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