White House To Host Big Tech Companies For AI Summit

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Kyle Perisic Contributor
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The White House is set to meet with tech giants to discuss the future of artificial intelligence (AI) on Thursday as the race against China and other countries for advanced AI heats up.

Facebook, Amazon, Google, Intel, and 34 other tech companies are set to join President Donald Trump to discuss ways to advance AI in the fields of agriculture, transportation, and health care, The Washington Post reported.

Organized by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, more than 100 senior government officials, academics, research and business leaders are participating, according to the White House. Trump tech advisor Michael Kratsios is set to host.

The U.S. spent more than $2 billion in unclassified programs to research and develop AI technology in fiscal year 2017, according to an estimate by the Trump Administration, the Post reported.

“In order to maintain America’s leadership on A.I., the administration should continue to invest in research and development, and advance programs that equip the workforce with skills of the future. We look forward to sharing how we can help advance these priorities and others at the event,” said Dean Garfield, the president of the Information Technology Industry Council, in a statement.

Some AI alarmists say the technology will cost the US jobs, while proponents of AI say those jobs will be made up with new jobs.

“We do believe in the short and medium term there will be job losses,” said chief technology and innovation officer of management-consulting firm Accenture, Paul Daugherty, who is reportedly scheduled to attend the Thursday meeting. “There will be new jobs available, but the real challenge [is] if we can match people up and train them in an appropriate way.”

Trump met with tech leaders Google, Amazon, and Apple in June to discuss removing barriers to advancing AI and 5G in June as part of the White House’s “technology week.”

AI advancement is seen as a big leap forward in global power. In the month following “technology week,” China declared it a goal to match the US in AI technology by 2020 and leading in it by 2030. Then in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin said whichever country leads in AI will be the “ruler of the world.”

“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world,” Putin said.

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