US & Canada

Trump Slashes Research Funding but Raises the US Federal AI Budget by 34 Percent

Trump announced the 2021 fiscal year budget proposal on Monday, further flashing the budget for federally funded research projects, whereas research budgets of major scientific institutions have experienced double-digit cuts.

Trump announced the 2021 fiscal year budget proposal on Monday, further flashing the budget for federally funded research projects, whereas research budgets of major scientific institutions have experienced double-digit cuts. At the same time, the Trump administration is investing more in AI and quantum information science (QIS) technologies. White House officials said that the increase in investment is to keep pace with China.

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In terms of AI R&D, the 2021 budget has increased by 34.4 percent based on the amount in 2020 and upped 54 percent over the 2020 budget request. Among them, the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget for AI-related grants and interdisciplinary research institutions has increased by 70 percent, which will exceed $830 million. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s AI R&D investment also more than doubled to $53 million.

In March of this year, former Google chairman Eric Schmidt publicly stated that the US leadership of AI is in jeopardy and that the investment in scientific research budgets needs to be doubled. The White House subsequently released A Strategic Vision for Americas Quantum Networks in February, proposing America’s plan to develop the quantum internet and set up two goals for the next 5 and 20 years. In May, Democratic party Senate leader Chuck Schumer proposed the Endless Frontiers Act, which seeks to invest $100 billion in the NSF over the next five years, spearheading 10 key technological fields such as AI, quantum computing, robotics, advanced communications and manufacturing. (Source)

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