white house

The new AI competition is over norms


Much of the discussion of nation-state competition in artificial intelligence (AI) focuses on relatively easily quantifiable phenomena including funding, technological advances, access to data and computational power, and the speed of AI industrialization. However, a central element of AI leadership is something much less tangible: control over the norms and values that shape the development and use of AI around the world. The U.S. government has overlooked this dimension of AI development for years, but the last couple months indicate the beginnings of a change of course. If the U.S. hopes to maintain global AI leadership, the government must continue to stake out a comprehensive positive vision, or we may find that the future of AI is a world few of us want to live in. Until recent months, the U.S. government had remained relatively quiet on the topics of AI values and ethics.

White House Taking its Artificial Intelligence Messaging International


The White House is deliberately engaging with "like-minded international allies" to assist in the stewardship of artificial intelligence and help the world recognize its full potential, Assistant Director for AI in the Office of Science and Technology Policy Lynne Parker said Thursday. "There are a lot of conversations internationally right now on AI," Parker said at the National Academy of Public Administration's Forum on Artificial Intelligence, held in Washington. "And we are leading many of those conversations." Parker explained that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the G7 and G20 international forums and organizations within the United Nations are all addressing the appropriate use of AI at a global level, and America's top federal officials are actively involved in those efforts. For instance, she noted OECD is likely to publish recommendations on governments' use of AI in May.

Artificial Intelligence for the American People The White House


The age of artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived, and is transforming everything from healthcare to transportation to manufacturing. America has long been the global leader in this new era of AI, and is poised to maintain this leadership going forward. Realizing the full potential of AI for the Nation requires the combined efforts of industry, academia, and government. The Administration has been active in developing policies and implementing strategies that accelerate AI innovation in the U.S. for the benefit of the American people. These activities align with four main pillars of emphasis: AI for American Innovation, AI for American Industry, AI for the American Worker, and AI with American Values.

Federal IT Policy, Agency Clamor Pushing Wind Into AI's Sails – MeriTalk


Artificial intelligence (AI), following on the heels of its older sibling RPA (robotic process automation), is no longer waiting to be born, but remains more of a toddler on the Federal IT scene–still learning to walk before trying to run, but bulking up from an appetite for serious Federal government tech interest and investment. Factors that stand in the way of rapid growth in use of the technology may be fairly said to include inertia, budget, lack of understanding, scarcity of obvious projects, insufficient compute power (legacy data centers), and a dearth of large data sets necessary to leverage the technology. But a host of Federal IT policy aims and nascent efforts at agencies are providing plenty of push for the AI Age to kick into higher gear, and point to what may become before too long the largest factor in shying away from AI: a lack of imagination. From the military, to the intelligence community, to civilian agencies, the growth in stated demand for AI projects is impossible to ignore. Intelligence agency officials ticked off a partial list of AI projects and priorities they'd like to pursue, and identified important long-term benefits from getting into the game including drastically reducing the amount of time analysts spend on lower-level monitoring work, and creating a workforce culture that is more comfortable with taking chances on new technology.

Trump's Secret Wars


President Trump's executive order this week removing a requirement that the government disclose estimates of civilians killed by U.S. airstrikes outside of war zones won't change very much--in practice. But that doesn't mean it's nothing to worry about. Trump's order rescinds a requirement created in one issued by Barack Obama in 2016 that the director of national intelligence to disclose civilian casualty estimates from all strikes by U.S. government agencies. The White House says the requirement was superfluous since the Pentagon has its own congressionally mandated reporting requirements. But as Luke Hartig, who helped draft Obama's order, explains for Just Security, that law doesn't cover strikes carried out by the CIA.

The out-there AI ideas designed to keep the US ahead of China

MIT Technology Review

When it comes to artificial intelligence, the United States has a tradition of betting on crazy ideas. This week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) showcased projects that are part of a new five-year, $2 billion plan to foster the next round of out-there concepts that will bring about new advances in AI. These include efforts to give machines common sense; to have them learn faster, using less data; and to create chips that reconfigure themselves to unlock new AI capabilities. Speaking at the event, Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president for technology policy at the White House, said the agency's efforts are a key part of the government's plan to stay ahead in AI. "This administration supports DARPA's commitment, and shares its intense interest in developing and applying artificial intelligence," Kratsios said. President Trump signed an executive order last month to launch the US government's AI strategy, called the American AI Initiative.

President Trump's Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence


On Feb. 11, President Trump issued a new executive order regarding artificial intelligence (AI). Darrell West from Brookings wrote a brief analysis of the order, Caleb Watney from R Street critiqued it on Lawfare, and major media outlets have provided some reporting and commentary on the rollout. Rather than repeat what the order says or what others have said about it, below are three compliments and three concerns based on my initial review of the order. The president actually issued the order. No one is really sure exactly how transformative AI will be--there is a lot of potential in AI, but there is also a lot of hype.

American AI Initiative Opens Up Data - Connected World


There is no question the United States is on a mission to preserve its role as a global leader in AI (artificial intelligence) adoption and innovation. Perhaps even more noteworthy is what this latest initiative has in common with past data-related initiatives? If you watched the 2019 State of the Union address a couple of weeks ago, you heard President Trump say he's eager to work with Congress to invest in "cutting edge industries of the future." He referred to this investment in cutting-edge industries as a necessity, not an option. Candidly, I was eagerly awaiting more commentary and was hoping he would elaborate.

Facial Recognition Surveillance Now at a Privacy Tipping Point


Much more rapidly than anyone originally thought possible, facial recognition technology has become part of the cultural mainstream. Facebook, for example, now uses AI-powered facial recognition software as part of its core social networking platform to identify people, while law enforcement agencies around the world have experimented with facial recognition surveillance cameras to reduce crime and improve public safety. But now it looks like society is finally starting to wake up to the immense privacy implications of real-time facial recognition surveillance. For example, San Francisco is now considering an outright ban on facial recognition surveillance. If pending legislation known as "Stop Secret Surveillance" passes, this would make San Francisco the first city ever to ban (and not just regulate) facial recognition technology.

Chinese Surveillance, Facebook Tracking, and More Security News This Week


The US government averted another shutdown when Donald Trump instead opted to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall dreams--a wall which raises huge privacy and security concerns and will cause more problems than it solves. As the country digested the national emergency, cybersecurity workers were still scrambling to clean up the security nightmare wrought by the longest shutdown in history. Amid all the border wall news this week, you'd be forgiven for missing that the president also signed an executive order creating the American AI Initiative. In an op-ed for WIRED, White House deputy assistant to the president for technology policy Michale Kratsios explained why AI strategy is a security issue. Speaking of AI, to combat the growing threat of deep fakes, a new tool uses the blockchain to monitor video for tampering and manipulation.