FREEDOM AND SAFETY
The AI arms race has is gathering pace and governments are rushing to release national artificial intelligence strategies they hope will help them win. Here's how they stack up.
The UK government released the AI Sector Deal in April 2018 pledging £1 billion of investment in education, infrastructure and the business environment.
The money will fund 1,000 PhDs, the training of 8,000 specialist computer science, new data sharing frameworks and three new supporting bodies: a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, an AI Council that brings together leaders in the field, and an Office for AI in Whitehall, which DeepMind cofounder Demis Hassabis will advise.
The USA has released a series of policy documents that encompass AI but still lacks a coordinated national plan.
The Obama administration published a review of AI and a research and development strategic plan, but its successor has focused on cutting regulatory barriers and funding for research. It has also included AI in other policy areas, such as a national security strategy that calls for AI investment.
Local governments are starting to devise regional plans, notably in New York, where Mayor de Blasio announced the creation of the Automated Decision Systems Task Force which will explore how the city uses algorithms.
In July 2017, China published a comprehensive national strategy worth $150 billion (£113.9 billion) to make the country the global leader in the field by 2030 with AI related-industries worth 10 trillion renminbi (£1.1 trillion). The investment will be supported by the development of laws and regulations for AI, training talent at home and recruiting it from abroad.
The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a further document in December 2017 that outlined its strategy for 2018 to 2020. The action plan combines specific targets for technical achievements, such as diagnosing more than 95 percent of common diseases using AI, with more general targets including mass production of neural network processing chips.
India released a national AI strategy centred on social good in June 2018. The paper identified a series of hurdles that had historically held the country back and selected five focus areas for AI intervention: healthcare, healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure and smart mobility and transportation.
The report has a long list of policy recommendations covering research, IP, collaboration, workforce, education, use of data, and ethics. It also proposes creating a two-tiered research system comprising COREs (Centres of Research Excellence in Artificial Intelligence) focused on key research, and an ICTAI (International Centre for Transformational Artificial Intelligence) that provides the ecosystem for application-based technology development and deployment.
In June 2017, Japan released an AI strategy with a three-phase roadmap towards AI industrialisation based on the country's existing strengths and the problems it faces.
The plan prioritises using AI to benefit productivity, health, welfare and mobility, and concentrates on boosting research and development by nurturing young talent and unifying data formats and standards.
France will invest €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion) in AI over four years as part of a national strategy it released in June 2017.
It aims to turn France into an AI world power by developing a data-focused economic policy, keeping French talent in France, creating policies that address the effects of AI on the labour market and ensuring that AI is ethical, inclusive and diverse.
Canada's $125 million (£72 million) AI strategy was released in March 2017. It aims to increase the number of AI researchers and skilled graduates in Canada, establish interconnected nodes of scientific excellence in Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto, develop global thought leadership on AI and support a national AI research community.
The strategy focuses on research and training to create a mass of talent that will help Canadian businesses succeed in the AI market.
The EU aims to improve consumer trust in AI applications developed in the bloc by ensuring high ethical standards.
In an AI strategy published in April 2018, the European Commission called for the EU's public and private sectors to increase AI investment by at least €20 billion(£17.7 billion) before the end of 2020 and pledged to boost its own contribution to €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion).
The Commission also announced that it had started work with EU member states to create a coordinated plan on AI by the end of 2018.