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White House AI Task Force uses politics to boost security but digital economy benefits pending, says GlobalData

June 9, 2018 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

While the new White House Artificial Intelligence (AI) Task Force formed by Donald Trump on 10 May 2018 has the potential to drive AI-enabled technological innovation and development, especially on defense issues, the benefits to key US technology segments such as telecoms remain to be seen, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

Recent advances in AI technology are promising dramatic technological breakthroughs in virtually every aspect of society, including telecommunications. Operators are also lining up to use AI to drive innovation throughout their organizations including the launch of new digital services and augmenting the customer experience.

For example, AT&T’s Atticus entertainment chatbot, working through the Facebook Messenger application, uses AI to recognize speech and automate the handling of customer requests. AT&T is testing AI-enabled drones to expand mobile LTE network coverage with the Flying Cell on Wings (COW), reaching remote areas with little to no signal strength as well as disaster-stricken areas with damaged mobile networks.

However, according to critics the new AI Task Force does not automatically ensure that the intended AI policy objectives will be accomplished. They claim it is merely a political response to massive, high-profile AI initiatives from countries like China. In fact, new US immigration rules will make it harder for non-US AI experts to work in the country, despite clear international AI R&D collaboration through first-ever Science and Technology (S&T) agreements with allies the UK and France.  

Ron Westfall, Research Director, Global Telecom Technology and Software, at GlobalData, says: “Overall the new White House AI Task Force serves many masters. The US government is looking to harness AI to advance economic competitiveness and technological innovation in sectors such as telecommunications, but it is also anxious to counter the vast AI funding and backing of adversarial governments like China.

“The key to the AI Task Force’s long-term success is demonstrating its presence will bolster the US economy and national security while also easing workforce transitioning to emerging AI-driven industries like digital service creation, robotics, and connected drones.”

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