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The Stanford University Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence is calling for the U.S. government to make a $120 billion investment in the nation’s AI ecosystem over the course of the next 10 years. The report calls efforts by the Trump administration, like the call for near $1 billion in U.S. non-defense research and development spending in 2020, “encouraging, but not nearly enough.”

The national AI vision report specifically calls for $2 billion in annual spending to support entrepreneurs and expand innovation, $3 billion on education, and $7 billion on interdisciplinary research to discover breakthrough advances in the field.

The report was written by center directors John Etchemendy and Dr. Fei-Fei Li, and it calls underfunding of AI a threat to U.S. global leadership and a “national emergency in the making.”

Li is a leader at the Stanford Computer Vision Lab, creator of ImageNet, and until last year, served as chief AI scientist for Google Cloud.


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Report authors assert that failure to take decisive action could also upend the global economy.

“If guided properly, the age of AI could usher in an era of productivity and prosperity for all. PwC estimates AI will deliver $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. However, if we don’t harness it responsibly and share the gains equitably, it will lead to greater concentrations of wealth and power for the elite few who usher in this new age — and poverty, powerlessness and a lost sense of purpose for the global majority,” the report reads. “The potential financial advantages of AI are so great, and the chasm between AI haves and have-nots so deep, that the global economic balance as we know it could be rocked by a series of catastrophic tectonic shifts.”

Other calls for growth in AI research and development funding include the Computing Community Consortium proposal of a range of funding priorities as part of a 20-year R&D roadmap such as research into personalized education, lifetime AI assistants, and the establishment of a national research center.

In May, legislation proposed in the U.S. Senate also called for the creation of a national AI center and for $2.2 billion in annual funding over the course of the next 5 years.

Frequently cited as motivation for swift action by members of the U.S. AI community is China’s plan. Introduced in 2017, it calls for investment of billions to make China the global leader in AI by 2030.

Roughly 33 nations have created national AI strategies, according to FutureGrasp, an organization working with the United Nations.

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