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Trump Signs Executive Order Promoting the Development and Regulation of AI in the U.S.

By NexChange
FinTech, AI, Financial Services

President Trump signed an executive order on Feb. 11 that seeks to boost the development of artificial intelligence and develop a regulatory framework for the burgeoning technology.

Trump’s order comes amid ongoing calls for the White House to take a leadership role in promoting AI, with some fearing that the U.S. was falling behind China in developing the technology. Trump’s order includes five provisions:

  • Investing in AI Research and Development (R&D)
  • Unleashing AI Resources
  • Setting AI Governance Standards
  • Building the AI Workforce
  • International Engagement and Protecting our AI Advantage

“Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and international leaders in AI,” Trump wrote in his executive order. “However, as the pace of AI innovation increases around the world, we cannot sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed. We must ensure that advances in AI remain fueled by American ingenuity, reflect American values, and are applied for the benefit of the American people.”

Among the aims of the president’s order is “to prioritize fellowship and training programs to help American workers gain AI-relevant skills through apprenticeships, skills programs, fellowships, and education in computer science and other growing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.” It also maintains that the White House is “committed to promoting an international environment that supports AI R&D and opens markets for American AI industries.”

In terms of regulation, the Trump is calling on federal agencies to establish guidance for AI development that “will help Federal regulatory agencies develop and maintain approaches for the safe and trustworthy creation and adoption of new AI technologies.” Trump’s initiative also says that the federal government’s “investments will strengthen and leverage America’s unique and vibrant R&D ecosystem of industry, academia, and government, and prioritize Federal AI spending on cutting-edge ideas that can directly benefit the American people.”

However, writing for the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C. think tank, Darrell M. West notes that Trump’s order lacks specifics on funding.

What is unclear in the president’s new initiative, however, is how much AI funding is being provided and how it is being implemented. Sometimes, new announcements such as the one formed to combat the opioid crisis have been introduced with great fanfare, but shown little impact. Without additional funding for research, workforce development, and infrastructure, the new initiative likely will fall flat.

Jim Mattis, former defense secretary for the Trump administration, sent a memo to the president last May “imploring” him to develop a national AI strategy, arguing “that the United States was not keeping pace with the ambitious plans of China and other countries,” as the New York Times reported.

Photo: Getty iStock

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