How Biden and Harris could refocus the White House on science


The Trump administration has deployed a American AI Initiative in February 2019, which outlined a national strategy for the development of AI, but the plan provided no additional funding for research, but simply redirected existing funding sources to AI R&D.

“The Trump administration continues to make US leadership in AI a top priority,” Michael Kratsios, chief technology officer of the Trump administration said in a press release. “As part of the American AI Initiative, efforts are underway to promote R&D and workforce development, collaborate with international partners, develop technical standards and much more. We look forward to continued engagement with the AI ​​community on these important issues. “

The new Biden administration plans to completely break away from Trump’s openly hostile stance towards science. Among the many deviations from the political positions of his predecessor, Biden pledged to “restore confidence in science” and “pay close attention” to scientists in crafting responses to the COVID pandemic and change climate. As a first manifestation of intent, he called on America to join the Paris climate agreement, raised the post of scientific adviser to the firm, and named genomics pioneer and founding director of the Broad Institute, Eric Lander, as the next director of the Office for Science and Technology Policy.

“I think with the Biden administration we’re going to see a greater focus on science in general,” Dr. Danny Tobey, partner at global law firm DLA Piper, told Engadget. “I think it’s good – good for science and good for AI.”

The administration has already committed $ 300 billion in R&D and advanced technologies as part of its Plan Innovate in America, which promises to “unleash the creation of high-quality jobs in high-value manufacturing and technology” – especially electric vehicles, 5G and AI – to “dramatically reduce the costs of critical technologies from clean energy, including battery storage, negative emission technologies, the next generation of building materials, renewable hydrogen and advanced nuclear. ”

“I think that’s what’s most exciting today,” said Howard Brown, CEO of RingDNA. Yahoo! Life in December, “we see the incoming administration doubling, tripling, on artificial intelligence, and putting that spending to increase the lives of human beings.”

The Biden administration has not yet revealed how much he intends to spend on AI research, but it will likely be associated with many regulatory chains and additional government oversight. Vice President Harris, during her tenure in the Senate, has previously spoken out against the use of AI in law enforcement, raised concerns about technology biases in face recognition dark complexion, and uses the HUD to review its policies on the implementation of the technology, as “the expansion of facial recognition technology in federally assisted housing poses risks to marginalized communities, including opening the door to government oversight uncontrolled which could threaten civil rights.

A Brookings Institute December Report notes that no other segment of the market has developed so much with so little regulation. “Even this framing underestimates the importance of data systems and algorithms, which affect almost every part of our society,” the report read. “While the economic growth is undeniable, the massive proliferation of data systems and algorithms – especially in the form of permissionless innovation – has wrought tremendous societal damage.”

Will Hunt, a member of UC Berkeley’s IA Security Initiative, welcomes the additional regulation, arguing that it is a superior option to allow the technology to continue to develop unabated. “While a non-participatory approach can foster innovation in the internet, aviation and other industries, it can be a barrier to progress,” Hunt wrote in a November article. Fortune editorial. “Part of the problem is that aviation safety rules are both broad and profoundly incompatible with AI, requiring broad revisions and additions to existing rules.”

“For example, aircraft certification processes follow a logical approach in which every possible entry and exit receives attention and analysis,” he continued. “But this approach often doesn’t work for AI models, many of which respond differently to even slight input disturbances, generating an almost infinite number of outcomes to consider.”

The US military also stands to gain from additional federal funding for AI. According to a November Congress Report By the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, AI is and will continue to be a critical component of U.S. national security. “The Russians and the Chinese have concluded that the way to jump the United States is with AI,” said Bob Work, distinguished researcher at CNAS. Wired, arguing that the government needs to take further action to allay public fears that it could leverage technology to develop deadly autonomous weapons and will instead act only to counter efforts by Russia and China.

“The Chinese government is actively investing in research and commercialization in these types of important technological fields, with the aim of surpassing American technological primacy and dominating future industries,” the Biden campaign said. Fortune last november.

“I think there is a national security imperative to maintain a leadership position in artificial intelligence,” Tobey said. “From a moral and ethical leadership perspective, like other incredibly powerful technologies, you need a global framework and consensus on how to use them safely without leveling down.”

The U.S. immigration system is intrinsically linked to the development of AI and other cutting-edge technologies, a system which under the Trump administration has been subject to increasingly stringent limits and, in the case of many countries with a Muslim majority, to outright travel bans for their people.

The US government must drastically ease its restrictions on the number of H-1B visas it issues in order to attract and retain top international talent if it is to remain technologically competitive. against other world powers, Rasser argues. “You want these people to live, work and stay in the United States.”

AI also offers an opportunity to renew international ties after the past four years. “The Biden administration has a real opportunity to focus on collaborations where artificial intelligence and other types of scientists are working together to really push the ball forward,” Tobey said. “I don’t think you can prioritize artificial intelligence in a vacuum.”

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