By Travis Briggs, CEO, ROBO Global

It’s no mystery that the majority of corporations already view AI as a must-have competitive tool in the race toward market leadership. As industry after industry has felt the critical impact of AI-driven disruption, companies large and small have made AI programs a top priority, using it to enable everything from highly automated and efficient warehouses, to customizing client service, to delivering pizzas. It was only a matter of time before our government saw the light.

This week, President Trump signed an executive order introducing the American AI Initiative, a plan designed to help the US maintain its leadership in AI technologies and applications, stating that, “Continued American leadership in AI is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States.” American companies in robotics, automation, and AI are surely happy to see a plan begin to take shape, even if it is coming years later than many had hoped.

While the US had a clear head start in the race for global AI leadership, it was certainly not the first to set a clear and aggressive plan to lead the pack. China announced its own Made in China 2025 initiative more than three years ago. The plan was thorough and precise, including aggressive government funding and support of technology and AI, as well as a carefully designed three-step plan that is focused specifically on AI. The three steps include:

1. Accelerate AI capabilities to keep pace with global leaders by 2020

2. Make major breakthroughs in AI by 2025

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