On February 11, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) titled “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence.” This EO establishes the “American AI Initiative,” which directs Federal agencies to prioritize AI investments in their research and development missions, make Federal resources more available to research and development experts, establish guidance for AI development and use over diverse categories of technology and industry sectors, and foster the next generation of AI professionals through apprenticeships, skills programs, and education in STEM fields.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Dr. France A. Córdova, who attended the Oval Office signing alongside Dr. Lynne Parker, Assistant Director for AI at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and other government research and development leaders, issued the following statement:
“NSF has a long and rich history of supporting transformative research in AI and machine learning, and is an essential contributor to growing the workforce needed to advance AI research and development. We look forward to supporting the AI Initiative, which will be critically important to maintaining American leadership in technology and innovation.
“Advances in AI are crucial for the U.S. science and engineering enterprise, and nearly all sectors of our 21st-century economy. Many of the transformative uses of AI that we are witnessing today are founded in federal government investments in fundamental AI research that reach back over decades. Building the foundations of tomorrow's AI innovations will require new interdisciplinary collaborations, resources, and strategic vision -- principles that NSF has championed in its support of fundamental AI research. I could not be more pleased to see them articulated as part of the American AI Initiative.
“The AI innovations that NSF has funded have helped the U.S. capitalize on the full potential of this critical research area, and we are eager to join this initiative to strengthen our economy, advance job growth, and better our society.”
This latest EO comes after the FY 2020 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities memo, the 2018 National Defense Strategy, and the December 2017 National Security Strategy, all of which have emphasized that the U.S. will prioritize developing technologies such as AI, which are “critical to economic growth and security."