US Expands Non-Defense AI R&D to Keep America’s Lead in Race

The Trump administration released a supplement to the president’s 2020 budget, which allocates nearly $1 billion to research and development of artificial intelligence (AI)

The U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Michael Kratsios, said; “I am pleased to announce that today the administration released a new supplement report to the president’s FY2020 budget, identifying nearly one billion dollars in non-defense AI R&D.”

An increase in the government’s non-defense budget for AI—equivalent to the total A.I. budget for 2016, which included both defense and non-defense agencies. This is also the first agency by agency report by the U.S. government. It’s part of President Trump’s executive order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence.

Robot security guard
A Knightscope robot security guard patrols a sidewalk in San Francisco. (Knightscope/Twitter)

Kratsios said: “So today, our goal is very clear, the unique American ecosystem must do everything in its collective power to keep America’s lead in the AI race and build on our successes.”

A recent report by the Center for Data Innovation list shows that the U.S. still leads AI in absolute terms, in terms of talent, research, development, adoption, data, and hardware. China comes in second, and the E.U. lags further behind.

Trump administration, out of national security concerns, has also been trying to limit China’s investments and control AI technology exports.

Michael McLaughlin is a Research Analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He said; “You know since that list has come out you know Chinese investment unsurprisingly over the past year and the U.S. overall has dropped significantly.”