Future of Work News

Military and Healthcare Industries Driving AI Investments and R&D


Military, healthcare, education and the call center industry are all driving U.S. government and private sector investments in AI technologies and development. Increasing competition with China is a key factor in government and military investments, which have reached record levels over the past year according to a recent Fox Business article.

U.S. government investments in unclassified AI research and development are up a whopping 40 percent since 2015, and 2019 fiscal year budget requests make both AI and unmanned autonomous systems a priority. The government also launched the American AI Initiative earlier this year, designed to stimulate AI development. The initiative is dedicated to driving technological breakthroughs; stimulating development of appropriate technical standards; training workers to develop and apply AI technologies; protecting civil liberties and privacy while fostering trust and confidence in AI; and protecting U.S. advantages in AI while also promoting international innovation.

The U.S. is already using AI to help control drones in the air and at sea, although military leaders worry that China’s technologies may have advanced beyond ours. China purportedly accounted for 70 percent of the global $39.5 billion in AI expenditures in 2017, and one defense company believes U.S. ethics are putting other countries at a strategic advantage when it comes to AI technologies.

“We're not willing to play dirty, we're not willing to let machines decide what targets to kill and not kill entirely on their own with no human supervision,” said Palmer Luckey, founder of defense technology company Anduril Industries. “Russia and China don't have a problem with any of those things.” Anduril specializes in building autonomous drones and sensors for military applications.

The military isn’t the only market being shaped by AI, and healthcare AI investments are expected to grow from $2.1 billion to $36.1 billion by 2025. IBM has been at the forefront of development, using its Watson supercomputer to build a knowledge base on a variety of diseases. The company has been particularly focused on oncology, with applications at 300 hospitals, being used by more than 125,000 patients globally.

To learn more about how AI investments and development are transforming the government, military, healthcare and other global markets and workforces, TMC is hosting a Future of Work Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The event, which will take place from February 12-14, 2020, will explore how AI and machine learning may be used to improve business communications, collaboration, sales and marketing and contact centers and customer service.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Future of Work Contributor

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