• Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

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Trump administration signs AI research and development agreement with the UK

The Trump administration on Friday announced that it had signed an artificial intelligence (AI) research and development agreement with the United Kingdom.



a close up of a flag: Trump administration signs AI research and development agreement with the UK


© The Hill
Trump administration signs AI research and development agreement with the UK

The U.S. and the U.K. formally committed to the Declaration on Cooperation in Artificial Intelligence Research and Development, which is meant to promote cooperation between the two nations on AI development along with recommending priorities for AI planning and programming, including student and researcher collaboration.

According to the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the agreement is the result of a meeting between President Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year, during which a U.S.-U.K. Special Relationship Economic Working Group was established to promote collaboration on economic growth.

“America and our allies must lead the world in shaping the development of cutting edge AI technologies and protecting against authoritarianism and repression,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said in a statement Friday. “We are proud to join our special partner and ally, the United Kingdom, to advance AI innovation for the well-being of our citizens, in line with shared democratic values.”

Alok Sharma, a member of Parliament and the U.K.’s secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, tweeted his support on Friday after signing the AI declaration on behalf of the U.K.

“I look forward to collaborating with our US partners on #AI and advancing our shared vision to harness the benefits of this technology for all,” Sharma tweeted.

The move follows increasing efforts by the Trump administration to ramp up investment in AI and quantum computing.

The administration announced in August that it would funnel more than $1 billion over the next five years into funding new research institutes focused on AI and quantum computing development.

These funds were in addition to a $75 million investment into establishing three quantum computing centers at major U.S. universities, which OSTP and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced in July.

Capitol Hill has also zeroed in on AI and quantum computing.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation earlier this year that would appropriate $100 million to a new NSF Directorate of Technology in order to fund investment into AI, quantum, robotics, cybersecurity and other technological issues. Bipartisan members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee also introduced legislation this year to enhance investment in technology research and development.

On Friday, House Science, Space and Technology Committee ranking member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) introduced a bill to enhance the work of the Department of Energy on quantum research and development.

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