There’s been a bit of hysteria — AI-steria, if you will — over the Trump administration’s recently issued American AI Initiative, formally known as “Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence.”
The initiative is a broad strategy “to sustain and enhance the scientific, technological, and economic leadership position of the United States in AI R&D and deployment.”
But critics have complained it’s short on specific actions and lacks new funding to accomplish its goals, in contrast to China’s 2017 “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan,” which allocated billions to establish China as the “premier global AI innovation center” by 2030.
As Babson College professor Thomas Davenport noted in a recent essay in The Conversation:
One Chinese state alone has said it will devote $5 billion to developing AI technologies and businesses. The city of Beijing has committed $2 billion to developing an AI-focused industrial park. A major port, Tianjin, plans to invest $16 billion in its local AI industry.
“China is ready to leapfrog the USA in AI. The US initiative has NO money,” tweeted one skeptic, Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Karl Freund.
China is going to leapfrog the USA in AI. The @realDonaldTrump initiative has NO money. While US Startups are all finishing their chips, Huawei, Baidu, Cambricon, and Horizon Robotics are all shipping theirs. I guess the USA prefers to invest in walls.https://t.co/khJe26ndnj
— Karl Freund (@karlfreund) February 15, 2019