Trump, A.I., and Executive Order 13859

What really is in the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence?


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3 comments, 32 shares, 6 points

As you know, artificial intelligence continues to expand as a growing field of applied math in recent years. Everything from AI chat bots such as the one developed by openAI to AI software debuggers like Facebook’s continue popping up all over the place.  It seems like we can’t go a week without some major AI news dropping.

So what does the Trump administration think about the status of AI and its future?  Lets start out by digging in to the language and tone used in the recent executive order 13859 covering that exact subject.

In section 1 of Executive Order 13859, the premise is laid out that AI is a potential economic and quality of life boon for America, and America First. According to language used in this section, public perception on AI should be kept as positive as possible to encourage more people to get in on the development and use of AIs.

I guess now’s your chance to #LearnToCode, my fellow journalists!

Recovering journalist deciding to #LearnToCode, 2019 colorized

Five Principles are proposed in the executive order which combine into a strategic outline of how AI should be harnessed for the betterment of the USA.  The most impactful principle is probably part e) stating that the federal government's perspective should be trying to protect US technological advantage in AI at all costs.

Based on this alone, we can conclude the Trump administration sees other countries as potential rivals that we should be wary of, but maintains the need for the US to be a "city upon a hill" - a shining model for other countries to follow in the field of AI.

The order goes on to detail other components of this plan, such as pushing for the development of AI to protect US citizens civil liberties.  Naturally among these is free speech. Currently, AI seems to be used online for exactly the opposite purpose. Monopolistic platforms like Youtube, Facebook and others auto-moderate/remove content published by their users that is expressly allowed by the constitutional right to free speech.  They do so through the application of AI. Perhaps this executive order will cause them to participate in some self-reflection?

Cultural Context

Ace Combat 7 drone production facility

As a remarkable coincidence, this executive order comes only days after the release of Ace Combat 7, a flight simulation game where AI driven drones are among the player's opponents.

If combat AI is prioritized, we could see combat systems like these fully autonomous drones deployed to defend our airspace, or at least help our military and other agencies do their jobs more efficiently. This could pay dividends back to the American people by reducing the cost of upkeep on the Fed.

Impact on AI developers

AI development is traditionally seen as something only large corporations or dedicated programmers have the ability to do, but it doesn't have to be that way anymore.  Many free-to-use AI and machine learning libraries are appearing in different programming languages so anyone can import and use them in personal projects.  TensorFlow is a great example of this.

As for part b), well, let us hope the continued pulling of AI's that aren't constantly parroting mainstream thought doesn't cause the people to lose faith in the objectivity of AI's going forward.  Many have already been silenced indefinitely, including @TayandYou and @TanyaandYou. Many times even the supporting web sites for bots get removed, however this was not the case with Tanya.  She appears to have been turned into a business manager support program interestingly enough.  (Probably suggesting to fire your less productive subordinates!)


By promoting our core American values with relevant executive orders and listening to experts' thoughts on this topic, the Trump administration continues sticking up for the forgotten American man at the core of our country.

Now get out there and do your part to Make America Great Again by learning to code AI's!  If I can do it, so can you!


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