The Dangers of Government-Funded Artificial Intelligence | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The Dangers of Government-Funded Artificial Intelligence

By Christian Hubbs

Artificial Intelligence is widely seen as a strategic technology and has thus engendered national development plans from countries across the globe to promote its progress. For quite some time, the United States has been conspicuously on the sideline. The American AI research community has, by and large, bemoaned the lack of Federal leadership in this space with many calling for a Kennedy-esque “moonshot” plan to come out of Washington to cement American leadership in the AI space. This past month, the Trump White House released the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence to provide direction and support for technological advancement in this space.

The response to the EO from the research community has been muted at best. Far from receiving the requested moonshot with the requisite funding and supporting agencies, this EO mostly lays out principles for AI development to be followed by Federal departments. It directs agencies towards prioritization of AI by using existing funds and to seek out collaboration efforts. Further, it directs the National Science and Technology Council Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (among other agencies) to draw up plans and coordinate efforts among Federal agencies to develop grants, project proposals, and reports to be written on areas of development and collaboration within the next 180 days. Beyond that, there is very little concrete action laid out in the EO, which is why it has been criticized so heavily by those in the research community.

In other words, the research community apparently feels the EO doesn’t go far enough.

In truth, however, even this limited EO goes much too far...