U.S. Commission on AI Would Create a National Path Forward

By Cisco C. Minthorn, Director of Government Relations & Senior Counsel

Artificial intelligence will revolutionize the world we live in. AI has the potential to enhance autonomous vehicle technology, improve medical diagnostics, streamline valuable data sets, strengthen speech recognition technology, increase operational efficiencies and change how countries protect themselves from external threats. And this is just the short list.

None of these benefits can be fully realized, however, without the support, funding and legislative backing of the federal government. Intel’s Vice President and General Manager of the AI Products Group, Naveen Rao, has called for a U.S. national strategy and has published a white paper on Intel’s AI public policy recommendations.

Fortunately, there is encouraging progress. The Senate and House have now passed the finalized version of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will establish a National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The Commission will be a welcome and much needed effort to advance the state of AI in the United States.

When the NDAA is signed by the President, this Commission, to be housed within the Executive Branch, will be tasked with reviewing advancements in AI, machine learning and related technologies as they relate to national security and defense. Commission members will be appointed by the Secretaries of Defense and Commerce, as well as the bi-partisan leadership of several congressional committees including the Senate Commerce Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee and House and Senate Armed Services Committees.

The Commission will focus on:

  • International competitiveness of the U.S. in AI and machine learning
  • Means and methods for U.S. to maintain technological advantages in AI and machine learning
  • Fostering investments in the private and education sectors
  • Enhancing workforce and education incentives to attract and recruit leading talent in AI
  • Risks associated with U.S. and foreign country advances in military employment of AI
  • Ethical issues as it applies to national security and defense

The Commission will study these AI specific areas and issue a report to Congress in six months, with annual reports until the Commission sunsets in 2020.

Intel applauds members of Congress for recognizing the enabling power of this technology, which will be well-explored in the Commission. By establishing a unified and dedicated effort toward AI, the U.S. is demonstrating global leadership along with a tangible effort toward better ensuring national security and defense. As one of the pioneers in artificial intelligence, Intel looks forward to assisting the Commission with this important charge.