White House ‘Deeply Committed’ to Artificial Intelligence

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The White House made machine learning and autonomous systems research and development priorities this year, the deputy chief technology officer said.

The Trump White House is encouraging federal agencies to invest money in artificial intelligence and related technologies, according to one of its top tech officials.

Speaking Feb. 13 at an event hosted by The New York Times, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said the Trump administration became the first to specifically prioritize machine learning and autonomous systems in its R&D priorities memo. That annual memo helps agencies decide where to allocate funding dollars each year.

“When we started our journey last January and understood the imperative of being committed to American leadership in AI, we started thinking about what the different levers we can pull from a White House standpoint to prioritize this issue,” Kratsios said. “The most powerful lever we have is the ability to direct agencies to spend their budget dollars.”

The Obama administration studied AI and its implications, including possible economic ramifications, but Kratsios said, “I think we’re the first administration to actually put dollars behind it.” Other countries, notably China, are investing heavily in emerging technologies like AI.

“This is something we’re deeply committed to,” Kratsios said

To listen to Kratsios’ full remarks, see the video below: