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White House: A.I. will be critical driver of U.S. economy

Sharon Gaudin | Oct. 13, 2016
Feds to play role in advancing STEM education, retraining workforce

"Analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisors suggests that the negative effect of automation will be greatest on lower-wage jobs, and that there is a risk that A.I.-driven automation will increase the wage gap between less educated and more educated workers, potentially increasing economic inequality," the White House report said. "Public policy can address these risks, ensuring that workers are retrained and able to succeed in occupations that are complementary to, rather than competing with, automation."

The report also states that the federal government must play a role in positively advancing artificial intelligence.

"It can convene conversations about important issues and help to set the agenda for public debate," the report states. "It can monitor the safety and fairness of applications as they develop and adapt regulatory frameworks to encourage innovation, while protecting the public. It can provide public policy tools to ensure that disruption in the means and methods of work enabled by A.I. increases productivity while avoiding negative economic consequences for certain sectors of the workforce."

The White House also called for increased investment in A.I. research and STEM education to create a workforce that can thrive in an economy that's changing because of smart systems.

"One area of great optimism about A.I. and machine learning is their potential to improve people's lives by helping to solve some of the world's greatest challenges and inefficiencies," the report states. For instance, "many have compared the promise of A.I. to the transformative impacts of advancements in mobile computing."

A.I. also could be used to beef up cybersecurity for individuals, companies and government organizations.

Smart software could predict attacks by using dynamic threat models from real-time sources, while also monitoring network nodes, protocols, equipment and networks, according to the White House report.

“A.I. may be the most effective approach to interpreting these data, proactively identifying vulnerabilities, and taking action to prevent or mitigate future attacks,” the report said. “Finally, A.I. could support planning, coordinating, integrating, synchronizing, and directing activities to operate and defend U.S. government networks."


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