Industry Roadmap Outlines Path to Continued AI Dominance

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) released a draft of its 20-year roadmap for AI research in the U.S., with numerous proposed steps and a call for ongoing support from the federal government to maintain dominance. The roadmap was the work of companies and researchers who held workshops in fall 2018 and in early 2019. USC director of knowledge technologies Yolanda Gil and Stanford University professor Dr. Fei-Fei Li were two of the roadmap organizers. Last month, President Trump signed the American AI Initiative.

VentureBeat reports that CCC director Ann Drobnis “plans to invite the AI community to comment on the roadmap later this month, when a larger version of the report is released” in April. The CCC is also working closely with the National Science Foundation, which backs academic research projects. The draft proposes the creation of an Open AI platform “that includes a collection of data sets, knowledge repositories, and libraries available to and made in part by researchers in academia, government, and business.”

The roadmap also suggests launching “national AI competitions that challenge researchers to solve big problems and push the community to achieve state-of-the-art results,” and opening national research centers and AI labs to support the efforts. Other proposed steps are to “support the research of self-aware learning” (AI that can learn by example) and recruit and attract “talented students, as well as people from underrepresented groups in the AI industry, such as women and people of color.”

“If we don’t address [the challenges of AI], then others will and might force things on us that we actually don’t like,” said Cornell University professor Bart Selman, who is also co-chair of the roadmap initiative.

The roadmap proposes “the development of lifelong personal assistants to augment human ability in education, health care, and industry,” which can “enable an elderly population to live longer independently … broaden education opportunities … and dramatically accelerate the pace of discovery.”

“This requires new facilities that do not exist in academia today,” said the report. “Although major AI innovations have roots in academic research, universities now lack the massive resources that have been acquired or developed by major IT companies. These are fundamental capabilities to build forward-looking AI research programs.”

Stanford Unveils New AI Institute, Built to Create ‘a Better Future For All Humanity’, Mercury News, 3/15/19