May 8, 2018 / 4:17 PM / 17 days ago

White House to hold artificial intelligence meeting with companies

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) - The White House plans to convene a meeting on Thursday on the future of artificial intelligence in U.S. industry with major companies including Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc and Oracle Corp as well as senior government officials.

Intel Corp CEO Brian Krzanich and the chief technical officers of Ford Motor Co and Boeing Co are also due to take part in the event, along with executives from Mastercard Inc, Microsoft Corp and Accenture, administration and industry officials said.

The Pentagon and the U.S. departments of agriculture, commerce, energy, health, labor and transportation are due to take part in the daylong meeting that will look at artificial intelligence (AI) innovation and research and development and removing barriers to its application.

AI and machine learning, with their growing capabilities and application, are expected to have far-reaching implications for a range of industries and the U.S. economy, according to experts.

Dean Garfield, president and chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, called the event “an important step to building collaboration between government and industry.”

“The tech sector is committed to ensuring that all Americans reap the benefits of this transformative technology, which has the potential to save lives, improve how we harvest food, transform education and more,” Garfield said.

Britain last month announced a 1 billion pound ($1.4 billion) joint investment in the AI industry, while the European Union announced it would boost AI investment by about 70 percent to 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) by 2020.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said in a Fox News opinion piece published on Tuesday that as AI accomplishes more complex tasks “it will transform economies, industries and our everyday lives. It will also raise questions about its impact on our economy and jobs.”

Professional services firm PwC forecast last year that aggregate worldwide gross domestic product will be 14 percent higher in 2030 as a result of AI and will impact retail, financial services and healthcare.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Will Dunham

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