The Trump administration gained a lot of attention when an executive order was passed on February 11, 2019, regarding the growth of Artificial Intelligence in the US. The newly devised initiative intends that the US maintains its position in this ever-growing and crucial industry. It is without a doubt that AI holds immense promise. Increase in productivity, creation of demand, boost innovation and improve customer products which result in customer satisfaction are just some of the fields it affects. Areas like healthcare and climate science can also greatly benefit from the advancements in AI. In fact, according to a report AI can boost global GDP by fourteen percent by the year 2030.
“Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and international leaders in AI,” reads the White House press release. “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 fuelled by American ingenuity, reflect American values, and are applied for the benefit of the American people.”
According to Trump administration, the “Accelerating America’s leadership in Artificial Intelligence”, is based on five key pillars namely:
•Research and Development: There has to be increased in investment in research and development. Federal agencies will be asked to prioritize the investment in artificial intelligence research in their budget and report on how the money is spent for a more comprehensive view of investment in AI.
•Infrastructure: Newer infrastructure will encourage information sharing but also solve any issues that are related to invasion of privacy.
•Governance: The AI policies will be exclusively drafted by the government agencies and it has to be ensured that the use of AI is safe and ethical.
•Workforce: Government agencies will be asked to prepare the workforce to work in the field and ensure proper training and education in computer science.
•International Engagement: The US will have to collaborate with other emerging players and also attend talented immigrants in the field who have inputs.
None of the propositions in the executive order are groundbreaking but the sheer modesty of it is gaining all the traction. These pillars are very general but this is the essence on which the initiative is based upon and the government will come out with new information and updates within six months.
The order was extremely crucial for the US because its traditional long-time lead was slowly slipping away. China, South Korea, and France have invested heftily in the expansion of Artificial Intelligence, with China nearing a whopping $4.5 billion between 2012 and 2017. One of the biggest A.I. venture deal was completed in April 2018, when Alibaba led a $600 million deal for China-based facial-recognition start-up, SenseTime.
People have been too busy focusing on the tremendously low prices of Chinese products and the crazy similar knockoffs of western gadgets. The world view became that of China is good at copying but bad at innovating. However, observing companies including the likes of Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei, it is evident that China has been building an international Artificial Intelligence empire and has already done enough planning to build a functional tech ecosystem in the future.
With US admin passing the executive order most people assumed it is time for the US versus China for A.I. dominance but Kai-Fu Lee, who worked for Google, China before Google decided to exit the country said that China is nowhere near the US when it comes to research and development but China is definitely winning when it comes to implementation of A.I. and is unstoppable at that.
Something that we can all agree on unanimously is how important AI is and how it is not just another tech-trend which will lose its popularity eventually. Almost all businesses will be in touch with AI in the very near future-be it an everyday business to something as intense as cancer research. Today, China is on the path to becoming the undisputed global AI leader and this will impact every business.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has made tremendous strides in the tech field. Businesses and the Government have been collaborating together to formulate plans to make China the hub of AI. Until recently, speaking at the World Artificial Intelligence Convention in Shanghai, China’s vice premier, Liu He, said that AI would depend heavily on international cooperation.
“We’re hoping that all countries, as members of the global village, will be inclusive and support each other so that we can respond to the double-edged-sword effect of new technologies,” He said through a translator. “AI represents a new era. Cross-national and cross-discipline cooperation is inevitable.”
This new mellow approach came just a year after the Chinese government’s announced their ambitious and aggressive AI plan. This plan called for Chinese AI researchers to lead the world by 2030, and for domestic companies to build an industry worth more than $150 billion.
The ambitions and progress of China have led to talk of an artificial-intelligence arms race with the US. The US government is about to ramp up the spending on the research of AI but we are still waiting for the Government to come out with more information. The statements from China’s officials have also depicted that China is about to opt a much softer approach when it comes to AI. China has been interested in discussing international regulations and standards regarding the development of AI. It will be interesting to see how China versus United States dynamic turns out in the next crucial years.