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White House Issues Update to 2016 National Artificial Intelligence R&D Strategic Plan

Jeff Brody

The White House’s National Science and Technology Council released an update to the 2016 strategic plan for artificial intelligence research and development in support of the American AI Initiative that was launched through an executive order in February. The National AI R&D Strategic Plan: 2019 Update retains the first seven priorities in the 2016 plan and adds a new strategy to expand public-private partnerships to accelerate advances in AI.

“The eighth strategy is new and focuses on the increasing importance of effective partnerships between the federal government and academia, industry, other non-federal entities and international allies to generate technological breakthroughs in AI and to rapidly transition those breakthroughs into capabilities,” Michael Kratsios deputy assistant to the president for technology policy, wrote in the document.

The new strategic plan also includes updates to the 2016 priorities:

  • Make long-term investments in AI research
  • Develop effective methods for human-AI collaboration
  • Understand and address the ethical, legal and societal implications of AI
  • Ensure the safety and security of AI systems
  • Develop shared public datasets and environments for AI training and testing
  • Measure and evaluate AI technologies through standards and benchmarks
  • Better understand the national AI R&D workforce needs

For the eighth strategic priority, the council identified some categories for engagement in public-private partnerships:

  • Individual project-based collaborations
  • Joint programs to advance pre-competitive, open, fundamental research
  • Collaborations to field and build up research infrastructure
  • Multi-sector partnerships and collaborations to improve workforce development and diversity in STEM professions

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