SAN FRANCISCO – White House officials on Monday unveiled plans to increase the federal funding for the development of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, two astute technologies that defense officials say will play a very important role in national security.
Funding, part of the $ 4.8 trillion budget proposal from Trump policy, would direct more money for AI research to the Defense Department and the National Science Foundation. The policy also wants to spend $ 25 million on what it calls a national “quantum internet,” a network of machines designed to make it much harder to intercept digital communication.
For several years, technologists have urged Trump's policy to support research into artificial intelligence – which can affect weapons and transport – and quantum computers, a new way to build super-powerful computers. In particular, the Chinese government has made the construction of these machines a priority and some national safety experts are concerned that the United States may fall behind.
The proposed expenditure follows earlier government movements. In 2018, President Trump signed a law that reserved $ 1.2 billion for quantum research. The Ministry of Energy has recently started distributing its share of that money – about $ 625 million – to research laboratories in industry, academia, and government.
“The dollars we have invested in quantum information science have increased approximately five-fold in the last three years,” said Paul Dabbar, under the science secretary at the Energy Department, in an interview.
Last year, Mr. Trump signed an executive order that made AI research and development a national priority.
The new budget proposal would finance artificial intelligence research at the Defense Research Projects Agency, a research department of the Defense Department, up to $ 249 million from $ 50 million, and at the National Science Foundation up to $ 850 million of around $ 500 million. The policy also vowed to double funding for AI and quantum data processing research outside the Defense Department by 2022.
Large technical companies have invested heavily in AI research in the last ten years. But many experts have worried that universities and government labs have lost much of their talent to companies. Under the new funding plan, the National Science Foundation would set aside $ 50 million for the training of AI experts.
The world's largest technology companies, from Google in the United States to Alibaba in China, are also racing to build a quantum computer, a new type of machine that could be used to break the encryption that protects digital information. Researchers use the same scientific principles to create new technology that can withstand such an attack.
In 2017, after four years of planning and construction, China unveiled a special quantum communication network between Beijing and Shanghai. Two Chinese provinces invested 80 million dollars in the project. It has also tested the quantum encryption techniques via satellite.
With the $ 25 million, the Energy Department would build a network connecting its 17 national research laboratories, including Los Alamos in New Mexico and Argonne outside of Chicago. Using this test network, the researchers would investigate quantum encryption techniques with a view to creating a secure network across the country.
“This is a testing ground for new technologies,” said David Awschalom, a professor at the University of Chicago who oversees much of the university's quantum research and would play a role in the efforts of national laboratories. “We use the power of national laboratories to feed the country.”Tags: #ArtificialIntelligence, #latestNewsAI, #researchAi, #Robotics