Artificial Intelligence - Benefits to Government: United States
Government departments that are immensely reaping the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) technology include transport, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, agriculture, weather forecasting, and national security and defense. The United States' government is creating a national climate where technologists and scientists can successfully create new AI inventions in the country. The Trump Administration is working on removing regulatory barriers to enable the development of new AI-based markets and the inclusion of AI by existing markets.
THE UNITED STATES' ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) INITIATIVE
- President Trump announced on February 11, 2019, the American AI Initiative to protect and promote national AI innovation and technology. Through this initiative, the government is partnering with the private industrial sector, the public, academia, and various international partners to implement AI technology in all its operations and organizations.
- In this "whole-of-government strategy", Federal agencies will be required to independently or jointly pursue a multipronged approach in the advancement of AI in terms of promoting AI R&D investment, removing regulatory barriers, providing training and education opportunities to the country's workforce for AI, enhancing access to quality data and cyberinfrastructure, ensuring that the United States leads the world in the development of AI standards, and implementing a strategic plan to protect the country's advantage in AI.
- Since 2015, the country's federal government has invested heavily in R&D of AI technologies and innovation. The growth of investment rose by 40% along with varied investments made in the field of intelligence and defense.
- The sectors that are seen to benefit from the adoption and implementation of AI technologies are transport, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, agriculture, weather forecasting, and national security and defense.
- The government is implementing several autonomous systems in the transport sector including self-driving vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems that provide tremendous benefits to the country's society and economy. Through these systems, the delivery of household goods, mobility options for senior American citizens and individuals with disabilities, improvement in the safety of hazardous occupations, and the wider access to essential medical supplies will be transformed.
- The Trump Administration, through NASA and the Department of Transportation, is partnering with State and local governments to implement AI both on roadways and in the United States' airspace.
- According to Elaine L. Chao, the secretary of transportation, the safe deployment of AI technologies in terms of automated vehicles will ensure the decrease in traffic fatalities and improved mobility for the citizens.
- The Trump Administration is investing in AI technologies that will assist in the advancement of cutting-edge research in the medical field. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to promote medical innovation via its DRIVe (Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures).
- The government is using AI to control diseases like Sepsis which claims 250,000 lives each year and is regarded as a national security threat. The HHS provides innovative solutions for diseases such as Sepsis by offering partnerships with private and public institutions. Additionally, HHS is working on Health Tech Sprint in an attempt to show how AI can be implemented into Federal data to develop products for healthcare applications.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has announced the launch of the AI Health Outcomes Challenge, in partnership with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the American Academy of Family Physicians. This collaboration is aimed at distributing up to $1.65 million to ensure further progress in AI for healthcare applications and to increase the rate of development of AI in real-world applications.
- The government, through the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, determined manufacturing areas such as space and exploration technology, integrated circuits, aircraft parts, advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, and chemical manufacturing as "areas under threat from foreign espionage".
- President Trump has launched a National Strategic Plan on Advanced Manufacturing that primarily focuses on defending the country's economy, expanding employment in the manufacturing sector, and ensuring a strong defense industrial base with a resilient supply chain.
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working on transforming the current manufacturing sector into the smart manufacturing generation by developing autonomous, distributed sensing, and automated control systems. The primary goal is to improve the operational efficiency of manufacturing factories across the country.
- The Department of Treasury is working on policies to promote the implementation of AI innovating tools such as machine learning while dissolving unnecessary regulatory barriers.
- These new innovative tools are aimed at empowering people by assisting them in making thorough well-informed decisions about their long-term and short-term financial goals.
- The country's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is the custodian of the United States financial market, is implementing machine learning algorithms to detect and monitor potential financial threat and investment market misconduct.
- The government is grappling with the biggest challenge in the agriculture sector — "feeding an additional 2 billion people by 2050". The government, through the Department of Agriculture, is investing in innovative technologies like AI to ensure food security. In addition, the department is working to technologically empower farmers, educators, scientists, and the public to benefit from AI.
- The Department of Agriculture is also providing economic opportunity through innovation, helping the rural section of the country to thrive, and promoting profitable and efficient agricultural production.
- Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools is a data science initiative launched by NIFA to expand on AI-related programs that ensure numerous uses in workforce development through training and education, rural community support, ecosystem management, bioinformatics, sensor development, and agricultural production.
- This initiative consists of robotic solutions that use AI technologies to help fruit harvesting, pesticide applications, weeding, and pollination; machine learning algorithms that help in identifying tree, animal, and plant species that contribute to ecosystem management and pest control; and adaptive watershed and groundwater models to maintain agricultural systems.
- These investments contribute to a wide range of AI-relevant research which includes intelligent decision and computer vision support systems, machine learning, and big data.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is utilizing AI technology to better understand and predict the country's dynamic environment. The NOAA is also using AI to improve nautical charts to ensure efficient maritime commerce, survey fish stocks so as to effectively manage the $208 billion per year commercial and recreational fishing industries, monitor the world's coasts and ocean conditions for national security applications, conserve endangered species, mapping, and exploring.
- NOAA utilizes onboard machine learning techniques in satellites to assist in the protection of the environmental spacecraft during radiation occurrences.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE
- National Security and Defense is one of the main sectors that have immensely benefited from innovative technologies like AI. President Trump announced a new National Security Strategy in 2017 that rallies the country behind innovation, technology, and research in emerging technologies such as AI.
- In administration's commitment to AI is well pronounced in the National Defense Strategy, where the government outlines its intent to invest broadly in the military application of machine learning and AI along with other emerging technologies.
- In June 2018, the DoD launched the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) "to serve as the focal point in the use of AI for key defense missions". The JAIC is tasked with delivering AI-enabled capabilities, synchronizing the various AI activities of DoD, and scaling the impact of AI.
- Earlier this year (February 2019), the Department of Defense released its AI Strategy which focuses on harnessing artificial intelligence technologies to advance the security and prosperity of the United States.