On 26 February 2020 the White House published its first annual report on the American artificial intelligence initiative. This national initiative was launched on 11 February 2019 with the aim of creating an AI strategy. The report provides an update on progress so far and vision for the future.
Six main elements of the strategy are covered in the document and this synopsis is given in the executive summary:
Invest in AI research and development: The United States must promote Federal investment in AI R&D in collaboration with industry, academia, international partners and allies, and other non-Federal entities to generate technological breakthroughs in AI.
Unleash AI resources: The United States must enhance access to high-quality Federal data, models, and computing resources to increase their value for AI R&D, while maintaining and extending safety, security, privacy, and confidentiality protections.
Remove barriers to AI innovation: The United States must reduce barriers to the safe development, testing, deployment, and adoption of AI technologies by providing guidance for the governance of AI consistent with our Nation’s values and by driving the development of appropriate AI technical standards.
Train an AI-ready workforce: The United States must empower current and future generations of American workers through apprenticeships; skills programs; and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with an emphasis on computer science, to ensure that American workers, including Federal workers, are capable of taking full advantage of the opportunities of AI.
Promote an international environment supportive of American AI innovation: The United States must engage internationally to promote a global environment that supports American AI research and innovation and opens markets for American AI industries while also protecting our technological advantage in AI.
Embrace trustworthy AI for government services and missions: The United States must embrace technology such as artificial intelligence to improve the provision and efficiency of government services to the American people and ensure its application shows due respect for our Nation’s values, including privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
In terms of funding for research, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) budget supplement for the 2020 financial year provides details of non-defence Federal investments in AI R&D. The spending totals $973.5 million for 2020 across a range of agencies, programs, and initiatives. The annual report claims that the 2021 budget will include a major increase in non-defence AI funding compared to the 2020 budget.