World News

White House announces creation of Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence

White House announces creation of Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence

The White House unveiled a hands-off regulatory approach to foster the development of artificial intelligence (AI) at a gathering of more than 40 companies in Washington on Thursday.

At a White House summit that included companies like Alphabet's Google, Facebook and Amazon.com, technology policy advisor Michael Kratsios said the administration of President Donald Trump did not want to dictate "what is researched and developed".

The new Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence will operate under the National Science and Technology Council and consist of several federal officials from various government agencies like the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the report said.

China has also said that it aims to be the world's leader in AI technologies by 2030. It will be comprised of the most senior research and development officials across the United States government, tasked with looking at R&D priorities and better coordinating federal investments.

The administration has some vacancies in its science and technology staff who could be involved in the committee.

But, he said, "other countries are organized, and organizing right now, around AI and how it's going to change the future of work and the economy".

He said recommendations issued by the since-disbanded U.S. Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Taskforce would be a good starting point for a "definitive" U.S. national strategy on AI. The office, under the Obama administration, had more than twice the total.




Watch out China - the Trump administration has its own plans to dominate development of artificial intelligence.

Kratsios said a new committee is being formed that will coordinate AI investments across federal agencies, including research related to autonomous systems, biometric identification, computer vision and robotics. Today's summit convened expert AI researchers, industry leaders, and senior government officials to discuss policies to fully realize the promise of AI for the American people.

The Trump administration's free-market approach to AI comes as the technology sector is facing increasing calls for regulation from lawmakers and consumer groups.

While Seamans said the US doesn't need to take a centralized approach, he said it could be useful for administration officials to discuss the impacts of the new technology, especially for consumers and workers whose jobs are becoming obsolete or who will require new skills.

Dean Garfield, the CEO of the trade association Information Technology Industry Council, commended the new AI task force in a statement.

"To a certain degree job displacement is inevitable", Kratsios said.

Garfield said that as new technology displaces some job roles, "the government is well-situated to make sure that people are also deployed in the competencies and in the places those jobs will be".