Artificial Intelligence: White House To Significantly Hike Spending on AI and Quantum Sciences

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The White House is committed to double R&D spending in nondefense artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS) by 2022.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Tuesday issued a fact sheet on President Trump’s budget proposals for FY 2021 relating to Federal R&D.

“In a time of great power competition, President Trump’s FY 2021 Budget puts America in position to maintain its global leadership in science and technology for generations to come,” the OSTP said.

The OSTP also pointed out that President Trump is the first President in American history to include AI and QIS as Administration R&D priorities.

AI and QIS Proposals for 2021 (Figures in $M)

Artificial Intelligence Quantum Information Science
National Science Foundation 830 National Science Foundation 230
Department of Energy’s Office of Science 125 Department of Energy Office of Science (QIS Research) 237
Department of Agriculture 100 Department of Energy Office of Science (Quantum Internet) 25
National Institutes of Health 50    
  1105   492

Other science areas bear the brunt from budget cuts

However, some other areas of science had to bear the brunt of budget cuts to support the allocations the White House proposed in favor of AIS and QIS.

Many scientists, therefore, rued the favoritism shown towards AI and QIS.

“It is really rolling the dice to put all your money behind artificial intelligence and quantum information sciences for being the things to bet on in the future,” commented Martijn Rasser, a senior fellow for the public policy at the think tank Center for a New American Security, to Fortune. “What about biotech, what about genomics and all these areas where they are cutting funding?”

The Science publication said Trump’s 2021 budget had again drowned many science agencies in red ink:

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology: $653 million (-19%)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: $678 million (-31%)
  • Environmental Protection Agency science and technology: $318 million (-37%)
  • Department of Homeland Security Science and technology: $357 million (-15%)
  • S. Geological Survey: $460 million (-30%)
  • NASA Science: $6.261 billion (-11%)
  • DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy: NIL (The Agency stands eliminated plus it has to return $311 million to the U.S. Department of the Treasury) (-173%)

“The administration’s proposed budget cuts to research risk slowing our nation’s science just when it is reaping benefits for all Americans in the forms of better health, a stronger economy, a more sustainable environment, a safer world, and awe-inspiring understanding,” said Sudip Parikh, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related Story:   Artificial Intelligence: The White House Guides on the Regulatory Approach to AI                                               

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