United States tech giants join AI committee at The White House

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"To the greatest degree possible, we will allow scientists and technologists to freely develop their next great inventions right here in the United States", he said, according to a copy of his remarks provided by the White House.

At a White House summit that included companies like Alphabet's Google, Facebook and Amazon.com, technology policy advisor Michael Kratsios said the administration of President Donald Trump did not want to dictate "what is researched and developed".

"We didn't cut the lines before Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call", Kratsios is reported as saying by Bloomberg News. "We didn't regulate flight before the Wright Brothers took off at Kitty Hawk". The development of AI is also fuelling concerns about bias in data use and whether the U.S. sector can stay ahead of fierce competition with China.

In a separate statement, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, who reportedly attended Thursday's White House meeting, called for establishment of a "national strategy" for AI to "provide the necessary guideposts that enable industry and academia to innovate".

In addition to issuing broad statements of support for the continued development of AI to benefit USA economic development and national security, the White House said it looks forward to "continued engagement" on the issue with the private sector, government agencies, and academia. The gathering signals USA commitment to artificial intelligence at a time when other countries are boosting their own investments, according to an AI expert at Cornell University. The Obama administration published two comprehensive reports on AI: Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy.

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Garfield said that as new technology displaces some job roles, "the government is well-situated to make sure that people are also deployed in the competencies and in the places those jobs will be".

In addition to the skills and regulatory issues, the meeting also looked at furthering government uses of AI, such as at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Still, many in the industry believe both regulation and legislation regarding AI are still years away. STEM refers to a group of academic disciplines comprising science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"Today's White House meeting is critical to ensuring the potential of AI is achieved and advanced in a fashion that is broadly beneficial to Americans", said Dean Garfield, president of Information Technology Industry Council, a lobbying tech firm.

It will operate within the technology committee at the National Science and Technology Council, and will be made up of "the most senior R&D officials" from across the federal government.

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