The President’s Budget Request for 2021 anticipates doubling spending on federal research and development for artificial intelligence. But increased spending without a clear plan for implementation might be a recipe for disaster. Some agencies have already started down the path to developing an AI strategy, like the Department of Defense, which stood up its Joint Artificial Intelligence Center in 2018. Other agencies have only just begun to consider how AI can enhance their operations. These agencies will have to plan carefully to avoid missteps and maximize the benefits they glean from this technology.
“AI is a powerful emerging and enabling technology that is rapidly transforming culture, society and, eventually, even warfighting. Whether it does so in a positive or negative way depends on our approach to adoption and use,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said earlier this year. “We owe it to the American people … to adopt AI principles that reflect our nation’s values.”