Trump to launch ‘American AI Initiative’

The new executive order, howeve includes no new funding, holding back the country from development in the field

Photo: EPA US President Donald Trump

The US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order creating the “American AI Initiative” - a high-level strategy, designed to guide AI development within the country, The Verge reports. The initiative will redirect federal funding and resources towards AI research, as well as call for the creation of US-led international standards in AI, and new research into the retraining of American workers.

Yet, the program includes no new funding for AI development, and is thin on details. The administration is also not outlining any timelines for reaching its stated goals, and is instead promising a more detailed plan some time in the coming six months, which puts in danger America's current state as a world leader in artificial intelligence.

Especially since to date, 18 countries have launched national strategies to stimulate AI development, and more than half of these include new sources of funding. Figures range from roughly $20m in Australia and Denmark to nearly $2bn in South Korea.

But its not only the lack of new funding a worrying part of the new US strategy. Notably, the new program fails to address the issue of immigration. America’s lead in AI is partly due to its ability to attract foreign talent, but experts warn that researchers are increasingly put off by the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and its promises to restrict visa freedoms. And now the new programme may worsen the issue since the administration reportedly wants to work with other countries on AI development, BUT do so only if it retains American “values and interests.”

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