In less than a week after the State of the Union address, Trump made another big move: launching the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative.
From a global perspective, this initiative came very late.
At present, 18 countries and regions such as Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and China have successively released national development strategies for artificial intelligence. Since the United States pursues a small market small government, it has not acted at the national strategic level.
The Trump administration focused on artificial intelligence, which means the United States will be the 19th country to enter.
So, there is a question to be solved here. Why did the Trump administration choose artificial intelligence at this time?
The Trump administration launched the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative, which is actually a sign.
In May last year, more than 30 executives including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon gathered in the White House to hold the third scientific conference in the United States, focusing on AI development.
For years, technology giants such as Google and Microsoft have become the main force in the development of artificial intelligence in the United States, but lack national strategic support.
At the conference, some industry leaders in the United States expressed concern that they might lose the global advantage in artificial intelligence technology without a clear national strategy.
At the time, White House science adviser Michael Kratsios bluntly stated that the Trump administration would ensure that the country remained a leader in AI.
In fact, as an early developer and international leader in artificial intelligence, the United States has taken the lead.
According to statistics, since 2015, the US government's investment in research and development in artificial intelligence and related fields has increased by more than 40%, which does not include confidential investment by military and intelligence agencies.The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) pointed out that decades of continuous research and development in the industry and academia, government funding, and the continuous flow of talent from all over the world to the United States, a combination of factors, making the United States proud of the AI tide tip.
This is evident from a set of data.
Recently, CB Insights, a well-known venture capital research institution, selected 100 of the most promising artificial intelligence start-ups from 3,000 AI companies worldwide, 77 of which are located in the US, and 6 in China, Israel, and the United Kingdom. The company is shortlisted.
Nevertheless, with the increasingly fierce competition in the AI field, the United States is full of a sense of crisis, because the pattern is undergoing subtle changes.
The latest report by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that in an annual survey of about 1,400 CEOs worldwide, 25% of Chinese executives said they used artificial intelligence extensively, while in the US, this percentage is only It is 5%.
According to the research firm CB Insights, the global AI startups' financing amount reached US$15.2 billion in 2017, with China accounting for 48%, which has exceeded 38% of the US.
Bloomberg reports that technology leaders have been putting pressure on the Trump administration to provide more R&D funding for artificial intelligence and to develop more targeted education strategies.
The MIT Review points out that many people within the US government are also worried that the United States will lose its edge. Last year, Jim Mattis, then the US Secretary of Defense, submitted a memo to the White House asking the president to develop a national strategy for artificial intelligence.
The American Artificial Intelligence Initiative is now on the horizon.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said in a statement that as the pace of global artificial intelligence innovation accelerates, we can't do nothing and think we can maintain our leadership position.
Trump initiated a national-level artificial intelligence strategy that required the federal government to prioritize the development and commercialization of AI, on which to allocate funds, plan, and provide data support.
This initiative is ambitious and aims to mobilize more federal funds and resources for artificial intelligence research and development to ensure US leadership in artificial intelligence.
Although the vision of this blueprint is good, there are several issues that remain unresolved.
The first is the source of funding. In the initiative, the specific funding sources for the project were not announced and the details were not clear. In addition, the Trump administration has not announced a timetable for achieving the goal, but plans to release more information in the next six months.
In contrast, China clearly pointed out in the first national-level artificial intelligence development plan that by 2030, the theory, technology and application of artificial intelligence have reached the world's leading level and become the world's major artificial intelligence innovation center.
According to the US technology media The Verge, at present, half of the countries that have launched the national artificial intelligence strategy have provided new sources of funding. For example, Australia and Denmark provide approximately $20 million in funding for their AI strategy, while South Korea provides nearly $2 billion in funding.
Second, the initiative did not address immigration policy issues. Experts warn that researchers are increasingly being hampered by the Trump administration's anti-immigrant rhetoric and its restrictions on visa freedom.
According to the National Science Foundation, the number of overseas graduate students in the US fell by 5.5% between 2016 and 2017.
In contrast, one of the key to the AI strategy announced in Canada in 2013 is to welcome overseas AI professionals. Other countries' AI strategies have similar priority terms.BBC pointed out that commentators believe that this is an obvious flaw, mainly because the importance of overseas talents to American AI research is beyond doubt.
Finally, the initiative is also vague about international cooperation. The initiative pointed out that the United States will cooperate with other countries in the field of artificial intelligence, but to ensure that the direction of technology development is in line with the values and interests of the United States.
Global collaboration will be critical because artificial intelligence is unlikely to be limited by geographic boundaries. This means that the Trump administration wants to find a delicate balance in competition and cooperation.
The Trump program includes all the right content, and the key test is to see if they can be implemented in a positive way. Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, pointed out that the plan is ambitious, but without details, nor is it automated.
Is this future blueprint possible, and the United States has to go further.