Trump signs executive order for increased AI usage by federal agencies

In a significant development, U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order setting the stage for increased usage of artificial intelligence in the decision making process of federal agencies.

In a statement, the White House said, it was setting nine principles for the design, development, acquisition and usage of artificial intelligence in government departments. The effort is aimed at fostering “public trust and confidence in the use of AI, and ensure that the use of AI protects privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.”

The executive order directs agencies to prepare inventories of AI-use cases throughout their departments and directs the White House to develop a road map for policy guidance for administrative use.

According to Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer, the executive order “will foster public trust in the technology, drive government modernization and further demonstrate America’s leadership in artificial intelligence.”

The Trump administration has made artificial intelligence a priority, and had earlier issued guidance to federal agencies to trim and limit “overreach” in regulations of the usage of AI by private companies, while urging agencies to use the technology to update legacy regulations.

The order emphasizes AI use must be “lawful; purposeful and performance-driven; accurate, reliable, and effective; safe, secure, and resilient; understandable; responsible and traceable; regularly monitored; transparent; and accountable.”

Artificial Intelligence is used by many government agencies for predictive enforcement tools; it is also used by regulators to review and process vast tracts of data to detect trends and shape policymaking.

A few states have raised concerns regarding potential bias in facial-recognition algorithms used by law enforcement agencies.

Earlier this year in February, researchers from Stanford and New York University submitted a report to a U.S. administrative agency documented 157 use cases of AI by 64 federal agencies stating the tool could “modernize public administration, promoting more efficient, accurate, and equitable forms of state action.”

The report also noted that AI can also be used to deny benefits or make decisions affecting the public’s rights and could boost concerns about arbitrary government action.

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