On January 12, 2021, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) established the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiative Office (the "Office"). The Office will have an integral role in maintaining the country's leadership role in this emerging sphere. Charged with implementing and overseeing the United States' AI strategy, the Office will serve as the central hub for AI research and policy-making across the federal government. The Office will also facilitate collaboration between the AI efforts of government, the private sector, academia and other stakeholders.1
The Office was established pursuant to the National Artificial Intelligence Act of 2020 (the "Act"), which codified into law many existing AI-focused initiatives. The Act was a bipartisan effort that solidifies the permanence of many existing AI initiatives and policies, and ensures that the Office continues to have access to adequate resources in order to pursue the United States' goals and priorities in developing AI. The Act, passed as an amendment to the FY 21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), represents the March 2020 effort of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. In a statement, Chairwoman Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Ranking Member Frank Lucas stated that the Act "sends a signal to both our allies and adversaries that the United States will continue to be a global leader in the development and adoption of trustworthy artificial intelligence."2
In addition to creating the Office, the Act also makes permanent several features of a "national strategy to accelerate our investments in the responsible research and development of this critical technology, and the education and training of an AI workforce in the United States."3 These features include the National AI Research Institutes, which are collaborate research and education institutes focused on a range of AI tops, such as machine learning, precision agriculture and extreme weather prediction, and critical AI technical standards, now including an AI risk assessment framework.
In addition to more domestic focused AI initiatives, the United States is a founding member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), along with 14 other countries.4 Built around the OECD Recommendation on Artificial Intelligence, GPAI represents a commitment to support "the responsible and human-centric development and use of AI in a manner consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms, and our shared democratic values." 5
To read our previous coverage on U.S. and international AI initiatives, please click here.
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