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AI Commission Charts Pathway Forward for U.S.

The U.S.-based National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) released its interim report to Congress yesterday. The commission, cochaired by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, began convening in March this year.

In its interim report, the NSCAI outlined the five areas it identified as critical for the United States to maintain its worldwide leadership role in AI.

Invest in AI Research and Development

“Despite the transformative potential of AI, the U.S. government has not yet responded with the resources necessary to meet current research needs and set conditions for future innovation,” the report said.

Apply AI to National Security Missions

“AI can enable our national security agencies to understand, operate, and execute their missions faster. However, the DoD and the IC are still a long way from realizing AI’s potential benefits. Efforts to integrate AI face obstacles throughout the adoption pipeline. The history of military innovation suggests that overcoming these challenges is essential for effectively using new technology.”

Train and Recruit AI Talent

“In a strategic competition, advantage will go to the competitor that can best attract, train, and retain a world-class, AI-ready workforce. Currently, there is a severe shortage of AI knowledge in the DoD and other parts of government.”

Protect and Build Upon U.S. Technology Advantages

“For decades, the United States has maintained an open economy and championed academic freedom, while also protecting its edge in defense and security-related technologies. It has preserved this balance through robust counter-intelligence, reviews of foreign investment, and export controls, among other techniques. Those tools remain important. But … features of the current geopolitical and technology landscape are straining America’s ability to institute a coherent and effective technology protection regime.”

Marshal Global AI Cooperation

“The United States and like-minded nations must assume AI leadership now. Existing cooperative efforts between the United States and traditional and non-traditional partners provide a glimpse of the potential for closer AI partnerships between militaries, intelligence services, diplomats, and scientific researchers.”

While the interim report outlined the issues, the final report, expected in March 2020, will contain recommendations to the U.S. government on how to move forward.