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Parker Has Leading Role in National Artificial Intelligence Directive

EECS Professor Dr. Lynne Parker in the Oval Office of the White House

Signing ceremony of the Executive Order on “Maintaining American Leadership in AI” on Monday, February 11.

UT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Lynne Parker played a key role in a White House initiative announced Monday to bolster research, governance, and education and workforce training around artificial intelligence.

The White House directive includes five areas of emphasis to strengthen US leadership in AI, noting that, while the US was an early leader in the development of AI and machine learning, other countries also are moving forward.

Since her appointment as assistant director for artificial intelligence at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in August, Parker has helped lead the initiative, which has been months in the making.

Lynne Parker, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Parker

“This executive order to establish the American AI Initiative comes at a watershed moment in the AI community,” Parker said. “My priority since joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has been to help solidify our nation’s strength in AI research and application. AI impacts everything from health care to energy to safety and defense, so an investment in AI is an investment in securing our future.”

Parker’s appointment with the OSTP is the second national leadership role she has held; she previously served as a division director for the National Science Foundation.

“Dr. Parker’s role in helping craft a national initiative on artificial intelligence is a credit to her research expertise, her forward-thinking abilities, and her leadership in this field,” said Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis. “We are proud to have her both as a professor and an alumna.”

The order outlines several specific objectives related to AI:

  • Promoting sustained investment in AI research and development in collaboration with industry, academia, international partners and allies, and other nonfederal entities
  • Enhancing access to high-quality and fully traceable federal data, models, and computing resources while maintaining safety, security, privacy, and confidentiality protections
  • Reducing barriers to the use of AI technologies to promote their innovative application while protecting American technology, economic and national security, civil liberties, privacy, and values
  • Ensuring that technical standards minimize vulnerability to attacks from malicious actors and reflect federal priorities for innovation, public trust, and public confidence in systems that use AI technologies, and developing international standards to promote and protect those priorities
  • Training the next generation of American AI researchers and users through apprenticeships, skills programs, and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
  • Developing and implementing an action plan to protect the advantage of the United States in AI and technology critical to US economic and national security interests against strategic competitors and foreign adversaries

While working with the White House, Parker maintains her professorship in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.

CONTACT:

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)

Megan Boehnke (865-974-3242, mboehnke@utk.edu)

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