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The order sets up the American AI Initiative, which instructs federal agencies to move projects involving artificial intelligence to the top of their priority lists.

No funding is proposed in the order, but the initiative directs federal agencies to focus on five areas:

  • Federal agencies are being asked to prioritize AI projects. Some agencies, like the Department of Defense and DARPA already have started doing that.
  • Federal computing resources will be made available to AI researchers outside of government.
  • Federal agencies, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Transportation, and the Food and Drug Administration, are being asked to create standards for AI systems.
  • Federal agencies are being asked to create fellowships and apprenticeships to help workers affected by AI and to train AI researchers and experts.
  • The administration pledges to collaborate on AI development in a way that is consistent with American “values and interests.”

Show Me the Money

The administration’s approach to AI contrasts with those of other countries, which have been earmarking funds for their AI initiatives.

Canada has a five-year US$94 million plan for investment in AI.

The European Union plans to spend $1.69 billion on AI by the end of 2020.

France has announced a $1.69 billion initiative to make the country a global leader in AI research and training.

South Korea has a multiyear $1.95 billion plan, which includes establishing six AI-focused graduate schools by 2022, and training 5,000 AI specialists.

Meanwhile, China already has created a $2.1 billion technology park in Beijing, and has a road map to grow its AI industry to $147 billion by 2030.

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