Trump administration unveils order to prioritize and promote AI

President Donald Trump waves after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Friday Feb. 8 2019. The President was returning to the White House after his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Cent

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday directing the United States government to prioritise artificial intelligence in its research and development spending, the White House said.

"Maintaining American leadership in AI requires a concerted effort to promote advancements in technology and innovation, while protecting American technology, economic and national security, civil liberties, privacy, and American values and enhancing worldwide and industry collaboration with foreign partners and allies", the Monday executive order reads.

The plan, called the American AI Initiative, is meant to enhance national and economic security and improve Americans' quality of life.

Instead, the White House hopes to provide leadership for private industry to take the initiative in developing artificial intelligence.

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"AI is something that touches every aspect of people's lives", a senior administration official told reporters ahead of the signing.

"We can not sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed", according to a statement released by White House on Monday.

Research and development: Federal funding agencies will be asked to "prioritize AI investments" in their allocations.

Global links: The US will collaborate on AI with other nations, but ensure that it develops in a way that works with American "values and interests". Lastly, the US will foster worldwide collaboration for AI.

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Artificial intelligence is seen as a way to generate advancements across multiple fields, from defense to health care to transportation.

Dubbed the American AI Initiative, the administration will direct agencies to prioritise AI investments in research and development, increase access to federal data and models for that research and prepare workers to adapt to the era of AI.

The executive order gives the NSTC Select Committee 90 days to pass along recommendations to the NSTC for how to implement such a program.

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