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MIT Technology Review

The White House wants to spend hundreds of millions more on AI research

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The news: The White House is pumping hundreds of millions more dollars into artificial-intelligence research. In budget plans announced on Monday, the administration bumped funding for AI research at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from $50 million to $249 million and at the National Science Foundation from $500 million to $850 million. Other departments, including the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture, are also getting a boost to their funding for AI. 

Why it matters: Many believe that AI is crucial for national security. Worried that the US risks falling behind China in the race to build next-gen technologies, security experts have pushed the Trump administration to increase its funding. 

Public spending: For now the money will mostly flow to DARPA and the NSF. But $50 million of the NSF’s budget has been allocated to education and job training, especially in community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and minority-serving institutions. The White House says it also plans to double funding of AI research for purposes other than defense by 2022.