US gov sets up the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office at the last minute before Trump’s presidency ends

Just days before President Trump is due to leave office, the White House created its National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office, which will sit under the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The org will be in charge of helping industry and academia work together to ensure the development of AI falls in line with US strategy. It will also help pass new policies and establish R&D funding initiatives. The move is one of Trump’s last-ditch efforts to establish something potentially long lasting in the field during his time in government.

“Through the Trump Administration’s historic efforts and the unparalleled enthusiasm and activity of the private sector and academia, the United States remains the world leader in artificial intelligence,” according to a statement.

“The White House’s new National AI Initiative Office will be integral to the Federal Government’s efforts to maintain this leadership position for many years to come.”

HireVue, a software biz that developed one of the most widely used job screening algorithms, has dropped its controversial facial-recognition feature.

The facial features of candidates were analyzed as they spoke during interviews via webcam. Together with other data, such as their tone of voice and words spoken, the job hopefuls were marked by the code on qualities including friendliness and trustworthiness.

Experts have argued such software suffers from biases, and shouldn’t be employed when people’s livelihoods are at stake. In 2019, The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a non-profit, filed a complaint with America’s Federal Trade Commission alleging HireVue “committed unfair and deceptive practices in violation of the FTC Act.”

Now, the company has killed off its most controversial feature. “It was adding some value for customers, but it wasn’t worth the concern,” HireVue’s CEO told Wired. Via – The Register

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