White House plans to double the AI research budget to $2B/no precise target9. February 2020
White House plans to double the AI research budget to $2B/no precise target
The White House is pushing to allocate an additional billion dollars to fund research into artificial intelligence, effectively doubling the budget for this purpose outside the Department of Defense spending, Reuters reported, citing those informed about the plan. Investment in quantum computing would also receive a major boost.
The 2021 budget proposal would reportedly increase the AI’s research and development budget to nearly $2 billion over the next two years.
The USA sees itself in a “race” with China in the field of AI. Any significant lead has implications for business and military applications.
However, simply doubling the budget is not a magic bullet to keep the lead. But introducing AI into new areas cannot be achieved without higher costs. An increase in grants and other direct funding will almost certainly enable a wider application of the technology, the White House says.
It is not clear how the money will be disbursed; it is possible that existing programmes such as the federal prizes for innovation research for small businesses could be expanded with this issue in mind, or direct funding for research centres such as National Labs could be increased.
Research into quantum computing and related areas is also costly. Google’s milestone last autumn in achieving “quantum superiority”, it claims, is only the beginning for science, and there are not many precedents for either hardware or software. Moreover, there are very few valuable applications for quantum computers in the hardware equipment available today and in the near future.
It is also expected that the proposed budget for NASA will be greatly increased in order to accelerate and strengthen the various efforts under the Artemis Lunar Landing Program. It was also not clear how these funds would be raised or from where they would be redistributed.