Reports  |    |  July 21, 2019

The National Artificial Intelligence R&D Strategic Plan: 2019 Update

Report by the United States Select Committee On Artificial Intelligence of the National Science & Technology Council. 50 pages.

Executive Summary:

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds tremendous promise to benefit nearly all aspects of society, including the economy, healthcare, security, the law, transportation, even technology itself. On February 11, 2019, the President signed Executive Order 13859, Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence. 1 This order launched the American AI Initiative, a concerted effort to promote and protect AI technology and innovation in the United States. The Initiative implements a whole-of-government strategy in collaboration and engagement with the private sector, academia, the public, and likeminded international partners. Among other actions, key directives in the Initiative call for Federal agencies to prioritize AI research and development (R&D) investments, enhance access to high-quality cyberinfrastructure and data, ensure that the Nation leads in the development of technical standards for AI, and provide education and training opportunities to prepare the American workforce for the new era of AI.

In support of the American AI Initiative, this National AI R&D Strategic Plan: 2019 Update defines the priority areas for Federal investments in AI R&D. This 2019 update builds upon the first National AI R&D Strategic Plan released in 2016, accounting for new research, technical innovations, and other considerations that have emerged over the past three years. This update has been developed by leading AI researchers and research administrators from across the Federal Government, with input from the broader civil society, including from many of America’s leading academic research institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private sector technology companies. Feedback from these key stakeholders affirmed the continued relevance of each part of the 2016 Strategic Plan while also calling for greater attention to making AI trustworthy, to partnering with the private sector, and other imperatives.

The National AI R&D Strategic Plan: 2019 Update establishes a set of objectives for Federally funded AI research, identifying the following eight strategic priorities:

  1. Make long-term investments in AI research. Prioritize investments in the next generation of AI that will drive discovery and insight and enable the United States to remain a world leader in AI.
  2. Develop effective methods for human-AI collaboration. Increase understanding of how to create AI systems that effectively complement and augment human capabilities.
  3. Understand and address the ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI. Research AI systems that incorporate ethical, legal, and societal concerns through technical mechanisms.
  4. Ensure the safety and security of AI systems. Advance knowledge of how to design AI systems that are reliable, dependable, safe, and trustworthy.
  5. Develop shared public datasets and environments for AI training and testing. Develop and enable access to high-quality datasets and environments, as well as to testing and training resources.
  6. Measure and evaluate AI technologies through standards and benchmarks.Develop a broad spectrum of evaluative techniques for AI, including technical standards and benchmarks.
  7. Better understand the national AI R&D workforce needs. Improve opportunities for R&D workforce development to strategically foster an AI-ready workforce.
  8. Expand public-private partnerships to accelerate advances in AI. Promote opportunities for sustained investment in AI R&D and for transitioning advances into practical capabilities, in collaboration with academia, industry, international partners, and other non-Federal entities.

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