On Monday, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order instructing federal agencies to dedicate more resources to artificial intelligence.
Though there’s no specific budget behind the “American Artificial Intelligence Initiative”, the president wants government agencies to invest in research, promotion, and training to help workers prepare for the era of AI.
The U.S. is the global leader in AI technology right now, but other countries are catching up fast. So far, the U.S. has lacked a high-level strategy to pursue dominance in the field. The executive order is intended to fill that gap, and to help the U.S. compete with countries such as China, France, Canada, and South Korea, all of which have established programs to prioritize competition in the field of AI.
The new prioritization of AI comes as the U.S. and China square off over 5G wireless networks. The U.S. has successfully lobbied some of its allies to keep the Chinese firm Huawei out of the construction of 5G networks over fears of espionage. The U.S. is also engaged in a battle with Huawei over allegations that the company stole trade secrets from American companies and violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The Trump administration isn’t the only one pushing technological investment and innovation. The Chinese government has been supporting strategic industries for decades, and they show no signs of slowing down.