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Artificial intelligence (AI) holds tremendous promise to benefit nearly all aspects of society, including the economy, healthcare, security, the law, transportation, even technology itself. On February 11, 2019, the President signed Executive Order 13859, Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence. This order launched the American AI Initiative, a concerted effort to promote and protect AI technology and innovation in the United States. The Initiative implements a whole-of-government strategy in collaboration and engagement with the private sector, academia, the public, and like-minded international partners. Among other actions, key directives in the Initiative call for Federal agencies to prioritize AI research and development (R&D) investments, enhance access to high-quality cyberinfrastructure and data, ensure that the Nation leads in the development of technical standards for AI, and provide education and training opportunities to prepare the American workforce for the new era of AI.

In support of the American AI Initiative, this National AI R&D Strategic Plan: 2019 Update defines the priority areas for Federal investments in AI R&D. This 2019 update builds upon the first National AI R&D Strategic Plan released in 2016, accounting for new research, technical innovations, and other considerations that have emerged over the past three years. This update has been developed by leading AI researchers and research administrators from across the Federal Government, with input from the broader civil society, including from many of America’s leading academic research institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private sector technology companies. Feedback from these key stakeholders affirmed the continued relevance of each part of the 2016 Strategic Plan while also calling for greater attention to making AI trustworthy, to partnering with the private sector, and other imperatives.