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February 13, 2019

Is Trump’s AI executive order a Sputnik moment for the US?

Featuring Gregory C. Allen

Source: South China Morning Post

Journalist Sarah Dai

US President Donald Trump’s executive order on artificial intelligence may be short on details, but its broader significance lies in his administration’s recognition that China has become a strategic competitor in a critical technology, industry watchers say.

The executive order, which Trump described as his “American AI initiative”, was signed on Monday and directs federal agencies to prioritise investments in research and development of AI.

While it did not specifically mention China, the executive order “has emerged under the context” of increased competition with China, said Gregory Allen, an adjunct senior fellow at the Washington-based Centre for a New American Security. The realisation that China has become an important player in AI is only a “more recent phenomenon”, he said.

The executive order, which provided few details on how it is to be implemented and did not earmark any specific funding, said investment in AI is vital to create “technological breakthroughs in AI and related technologies” that would contribute to US economic and national security.

Read the full article and more in the South China Morning Post.


  • Gregory C. Allen

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Gregory C. Allen is a former Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Technology and National Security Program. Mr. Allen focuses on the intersec...