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The current state of data science mirrors where digital technology and cybersecurity were around 20 years ago: artificial intelligence (AI) systems are being developed at a frantic pace, but there is no standardized and trusted process to deploy them to production. Governments around the world are currently facing this dilemma and investing in the resources to accelerate their AI deployments. The nation that effectively combines rapid technological innovation with effective and meaningful policies will be poised to lead the way in this next technological revolution. What are the elements of a winning national AI strategy?

There are four key elements that nations such as the United States must embrace in order to become effective AI leaders in the global ecosystem:

  1. An Activated Workforce

Innovation takes people, and it is important to create a knowledgeable, impactful workforce to develop the next generation of AI. This involves investment in education, the creation of knowledge centers, and activating the brightest AI minds and putting them to work within your borders. This has been especially effective in China, where the government has been able to use its vast influence to make growing this workforce an immediate priority.

  1. Speedy Military Deployments

Within military applications, the greatest benefit of AI is speed in decision-making. The first government that is able to deploy trusted AI at a large scale will see a significant advantage in the modern battlespace. However, to get to that point, establishing widespread trust in performance and security is key. Confidence must be built within the defense and intelligence sectors in order for these systems to be deployed and for governments to reap the benefits.

  1. An Innovative Commercial Sector

Within the commercial sector, engineers and data scientists are building the next generation of AI applications, new methods for building ML models, and the tools and solutions needed to deploy them efficiently and effectively. This represents an opportunity for governments to invest in these solutions and support continued innovation, which can also drive nationwide economic growth.

  1. A Focus on Ethics and Trust

Even the most authoritarian regimes are cognizant of the risks associated with modern AI systems and are emphasizing that AI should never “outgrow” the humans developing and deploying the technology. AI should not overreach and invade the privacy of citizens, nor should it show bias when making predictions. These systems also must be secure against external threats, with data protected against adversarial attacks. Only then can there be widespread trust that deploying AI is in everyone’s best interest.

Where Does AI Policy Stand Around the World?

The United States is working rapidly to accelerate its adoption of responsible AI, but it is not alone in this race. All around the world, countries like Russia, Israel, South Korea, and China are making investments to push themselves ahead of the pack.

In our comprehensive report, we explore AI policy in these nations and examine what the U.S. must do in order to keep pace. The entire world is working to find these solutions and create a confident AI-driven strategy. Whoever opens the floodgates of innovation first—responsibly and with confidence—will likely run out ahead of the pack.

Read our report to learn more about the elements of a winning national AI strategy: The State of Global AI Policy 2022