The White House has announced the creation of a Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence.
“As artificial intelligence transforms everything from agriculture to manufacturing to transportation, the potential for AI remains breathtaking,” Michael Kratsios, deputy CTO at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in his remarks at the event, according to FedScoop. “But we cannot be passive. To realize the full potential of AI for the American people, it will require the combined efforts of industry, academia, and government.”
The new committee aims “to improve the coordination of federal efforts related to AI to ensure continued U.S. leadership in this field,” and will operate within the technology committee at the National Science and Technology Council.
The team will comprise “the most senior R&D officials” from across the federal government, including the undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology from the Department of Commerce, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering at the Department of Defense, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the undersecretary of energy for science within the Department of Energy, the director of the National Science Foundation and the director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Technology experts have warned that the United States is not doing enough to bolster its position in AI — especially since other nations have been much more aggressive. For example, France said this year it would invest $1.8 billion (€1.5 billion) in AI research by 2022; the UK is putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the field; and last year, China announced plans to become the world’s dominant force in AI by 2030.
At this week’s event, Kratsios spoke about the administration’s commitment to investing in AI, including calls for the increased use of automation software within the federal government. He even addressed the concern that an increase in AI could result in job loss.
“To a certain degree job displacement is inevitable,” Kratsios said. “But we can’t sit idle, hoping eventually the market will sort it out. We must do what Americans have always done: adapt.”