Tech leaders to seek more focus on AI at White House summit

The private path

While the Obama administration also warned against a rush to add regulations on AI, it had called for assurances that AI "systems will operate safely and securely, in a controlled, well-defined, and well-understood manner". The gathering signals USA commitment to artificial intelligence at a time when other countries are boosting their own investments, according to an AI expert at Cornell University.

The meeting, which The Washington Post reported earlier, comes as lawmakers and officials increasingly weigh AI's effect on jobs, and the build-up by USA adversaries including China.

According to The Washington Post, The Artificial Intelligence for American Industry event will see government officials, academics, and developers come together to discuss how AI can advance infrastructure and industry, including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and transportation, and how government policy can help facilitate this.

He said recommendations issued by the since-disbanded U.S. Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Taskforce would be a good starting point for a "definitive" U.S. national strategy on AI.

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The meeting comes as some technology experts have criticized President Donald Trump and his administration for not paying enough attention to science and technology.

Trump, who is more than 15 months into his term of office, hasn't yet nominated a replacement.

The committee will be led by the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

While Seamans said the US doesn't need to take a centralized approach, he said it could be useful for administration officials to discuss the impacts of the new technology, especially for consumers and workers whose jobs are becoming obsolete or who will require new skills. He called for a "free-market approach" that would harness the combined strength of government, industry and academia while limiting regulation that could "hamstring" companies, according to his prepared remarks.

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"To a certain degree, job displacement is inevitable", he said, noting that the administration has taken steps such as STEM grant funding "to ease the transition for workers and aid industries hungry for talent".

Garfield said that as new technology displaces some job roles, "the government is well-situated to make sure that people are also deployed in the competencies and in the places those jobs will be".

Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, says it's been disappointing not to have more of a national movement around AI.

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