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Executive Order on AI Orders Nothing

By George Khoury, Esq. on February 13, 2019 3:05 PM

This week, President Trump released the "Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence."

And while this had the prospect of going horribly wrong, the E.O. seems to fall flat when it comes to actually doing anything according to several commentators. There's no mandate to act, there's nothing being prohibited, and the whole thing just seems to be a mere suggestion that government agencies redirect spending into AI programs, where possible.

What the E.O.?

The text of the E.O. does actually require some action. In the next 90 days, agency heads need to re-evaluate their budgets to see where they can spend on AI. Additionally, in that time frame, there will be committee meetings, opportunities for public comment and suggestions, and a report generated in six months time, for the president.

One of the big promises that many will be hoping can actually be delivered, is more government transparency through open data programs. Additionally, the order strives to create better standardization for AI which would enable easier resource sharing.

Immigration Controversy

One of the big controversies this executive order prompted involves the immigration debate. The tech industry is global, and many of America's top tech workers and researchers are immigrants. Many critics have asserted that this E.O. should have included prioritizing student visas and worker visas that are focused on developing AI tech. These critics are quick to point out that the Trump administrations conservative approach to immigration is actually stifling American innovation.

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