In Brief
  • The White House released a 58-page report that surveys the current state of AI, its existing and potential applications, and the questions that progress in AI raise for society and public policy.
  • A second document details seven key strategies to keep AI research and development on point.

The Future of AI

The Obama administration has consciously been putting itself at the helm of science and development efforts. Today, to prove the administration’s continuous commitment on building the country’s capacity in science and technology, President Obama hosts the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, “to imagine the Nation and the world in 50 years and beyond, and to explore America’s potential to advance towards the frontiers that will make the world healthier, more prosperous, more equitable, and more secure,” according a White House report.

Credits:
Credits: CMU/Univ, of Pittsburgh

As primers to today’s discussions, the White House released two documents yesterday that focus on artificial intelligence. One is called Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence, a 58-page report that “surveys the current state of AI, its existing and potential applications, and the questions that progress in AI raise for society and public policy. The report also makes recommendations for specific further actions.”

This document covers key policy questions regarding AI and how the government should adapt regulations that affect AI industries — encouraging innovation while keeping the public safe and protected.

AI Research and Development

The second document, the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, is a companion paper to the first. This paper details seven key strategies to keep AI research and development on point.

The strategies include making long-term investments in AI research and development to understanding ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI. There’s also a strategy for providing environments for AI training and testing.

“Already, AI technologies have opened up new markets and new opportunities for progress in critical areas such as health, education, energy, and the environment. In recent years, machines have surpassed humans in the performance of certain specific tasks, such as some aspects of image recognition,” the White House report acknowledges.

“In the coming years, AI will continue contributing to economic growth and will be a valuable tool for improving the world in fields as diverse as health care, transportation, the environment, criminal justice, and economic inclusion.”

With the release of these papers and today’s conference, the Obama administration is making sure that, whatever the results of the coming elections, the government takes AI policies that are authentically scientific and geared toward real progress.