White House Names AI & Wireless Tech As New R&D Priorities

The White House named artificial intelligence and advanced wireless technologies as one of its R&D priorities for the 2020 fiscal year. The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget co-authored a memo outlining that strategy on Tuesday, having also named national security, agricultural solutions, modern medicine, and energy as other fields in which the government is planning to invest moving forward. The plan is in line with research and development ambitions that have been pursued by a number of U.S. administrations, including the one headed by President Trump. The 2020 fiscal year starts on October 1, 2019.

The federal agencies whose purview encompasses any one of the areas outlined above may hence have their budgets increased by Congress moving forward, or at least that's what the White House will push for once the 2020 budget is on the legislators' immediate agenda. Washington is also looking to help basic research in those fields through deregulation, having also encouraged its agencies to do the same, i.e. eliminate as much administrative red tape to tech R&D as possible. The White House is also supportive of the idea of government agencies partnering with private companies on such efforts, the memo indicates. The same document argues in favor of extra commitments to the creation of new cybersecurity technologies and the improvement of existing solutions in the sector, while also pushing for new investments in border surveillance.

The Trump administration recently became more proactive in the technology segment, having started discussing the possibility of new regulations meant to protect user privacy. While a U.S. version of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation is unlikely due to the fundamental differences in the political landscapes of the two Western allies, a less strict legislative framework regulating big tech in the country might still end up being enacted in the near future. Washington's tech policy may also be affected by the outcome of the November mid-terms which could see the Republican party lose its majority in both Congress houses.

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