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White House Finalizing New Regulations For AI

The White House is in the final stretch of finishing guidance on how agencies in different sectors should regulate artificial intelligence (AI), according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday (Oct. 21). 

Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said at the WSJ Tech Live virtual conference that the guidance is a follow-up to January’s White House draft. The original draft consisted of 10 principles that outlined how agencies should approach AI in their respective industries.

“We had a great, robust conversation with many stakeholders on it,” Kratsios during a comment period. He added that the finished adaptation of the regulations should be completed soon.

Kratsios oversees the Trump administration’s 2019 American AI Initiative, which was launched through an executive order, according to the WSJ report. It dictates that agencies should prioritize AI when determining R&D projects and make data transparent to AI experts. It also urges AI-related education.

The Defense Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have both independently developed their own AI principles and guidelines. 

Kratsios said the stricter regulations in some parts of Europe could end up suppressing advancements if that approach is taken in the U.S.

The Trump administration is also seeking global collaboration in supervising AI, and in September developed principles with the U.K. 

Kratsios noted that excessive AI regulation could impede U.S. leadership in the field. AI leadership is a priority as Washington and Beijing compete for technological domination. 

In August, the White House announced that it was working with private partners to commit more than $1 billion over the next five years for research into quantum information sciences (QIS) and AI. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will direct the seven AI research institutes. The Department of Energy (DOE) will lead the five QIS research centers. The 2021 U.S. budget proposal includes $1.5 billion for AI and $699 million for QIS, both significantly more than previous budget allotments.

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