White House technology adviser Michael Kratsios informed the Silicon Valley and several other companies that the United States government isn't planning on imposing any kind of heavy-handed regulations on the artificial intelligence industry so as to support continuous innovation in the segment. "We didn't cut the lines before Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call; we didn't regulate flight before the Wright Brothers took off at Kitty Hawk," Mr. Kratsios said in his prepared remarks addressing officials of companies such as Google, Facebook, Boeing, and Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg reports, citing a transcript of the speech made earlier this week.
While the Trump administration is willing to allow the AI industry to continue evolving on its own, calls for a conceptually opposite approach have been increasing in recent times, with some prominent names in the technology segment such as Elon Musk warning that AI could bring the end of humanity, possibly in the form of a third world war. The technology is presently advancing at a rapid pace, with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft implementing it into every aspect of their respective businesses so as to improve efficiency and develop new products and services. With China now profiling itself as one of the world's AI leaders, the United States government may be looking to avoid a scenario wherein it stifles its domestic industry with premature regulations and prompts it to fall behind in the global AI race. Questions about certain applications of such solutions being rushed continue to increase, especially in the aftermath of the world's first self-driving car accident with a pedestrian fatality recorded in Tempe, Arizona, in March. The incident saw a self-driving Volvo XC90 SUV from Uber hit a 49-year-old jaywalking woman without attempting to stop, with the victim succumbing to her injuries shortly following the crash.
The actual use cases of machine learning and related technologies are vast and varied, with enterprise AI being estimated to grow into a $3.9 trillion industry by 2022 on its own. The European Union recently greenlit a $1.8 billion AI investment meant to be spread out over the following two years, though related R&D commitments in the U.S. are primarily coming from the private sector. Besides providing assurances of loose regulations to industry leaders earlier this week, Mr. Kratsios also announced the creation of a new AI committee including members of top-ranking federal officials in the field. The body will be part of the White House, i.e. its National Science and Technology Council.