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US government forms committee to advise on AI competitiveness, ethics

The National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee will advise President Joe Biden and federal agencies on AI research and developments.

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James Martin/CNET

The US Department of Commerce is forming a committee that will advise President Joe Biden and federal agencies on AI research and developments, the department said Wednesday. The National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee will focus on a range of issues related to AI, including AI systems in the public and private working sectors. 

"AI presents an enormous opportunity to tackle the biggest issues of our time, strengthen our technological competitiveness, and be an engine for growth in nearly every sector of the economy." Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a release, adding that the committee must be wise in facing the challenges of AI

News of the committee comes six months after another group, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, filed a 756-page report warning that the US is in danger of losing its leading position in technological advancements. Schmidt's commission warned that China may soon be the world's tech leader and recommended that the US government create a council to build a strategy around AI challenges. 

Last month, the Pentagon announced that under the Global Information Dominance Experiment, the military will use big data and AI to try to predict future events. Companies are also behind AI efforts, with, for instance, Intel expanding the AI for Workforce Program to 18 community colleges in 11 states. 

Members of the newly created National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee may serve up to two three-year terms. Registered federal lobbyists aren't allowed to apply for the committee. 

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