Michael Hermus, CEO and managing partner at the Revolution Four Group and former chief technology officer at the Department of Homeland Security, discusses his concerns about the American AI Initiative, and how it stacks up against the rest of the world’s artificial intelligence research.
The American AI Initiative executive order signed on Monday includes major pillars for accelerating development of artificial intelligence. However, one notable omission from the order is funding. Michael Hermus, CEO and managing partner at the Revolution Four Group and former chief technology officer at the Department of Homeland Security, says that this is just one issue with the initiative. “Getting funding is not something the executive branch can always do unilaterally, so in fairness it’s hard to say they should’ve come up with a giant pot of money to attribute to this. However, there are things they could’ve done to reallocate existing funds or prioritize existing staff utilization more towards this effort,” Hermus said. “I do think that… this is a great start. This executive order prioritizes artificial intelligence across a number of different dimensions. I am concerned that it’s not going to have the impact they want.” In addition, Hermus told Government Matters that he’s worried this approach to AI doesn’t stack up with competitor nation’s programs. “A lot of people have been talking about how China in particular, and Russia and other adversarial states have really invested a lot in artificial intelligence, and have focused tremendous energy on it. This is a step in the right direction, but if you look at China, they’ve allocated over $150 billion towards [AI] over the past decade,” Hermus said.