Axios Pro Exclusive Content

AI tops White House FY2025 R&D priorities

Maria Curi
Aug 17, 2023
illustration of a computer with a screen that has columns on it surrounded by circles overlaid in legal text

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

The White House released its research and development budget priorities for fiscal year 2025, and advancing "trustworthy" artificial intelligence is at the top of the list.

What's happening: AI was named first in an Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy memorandum sent Thursday to the heads of federal agencies and executive departments.

  • Agencies should ask to fund efforts that will help mitigate "AI threats to truth, trust, and democracy; safety and security; privacy, civil rights and civil liberties; and economic opportunity for all."
  • The White House tasked agencies to come up with new approaches for applying AI to improve government functions and public services.
  • Agencies should "develop trustworthy, powerful advanced AI systems that help achieve the Nation's great aspirations."
  • The memo also calls for budget submissions that prioritize national security, combat climate change and improve Americans' health.

Of note: The White House is pressing agencies to make budget requests that "reduce barriers and inequities."

  • The administration directs agencies to fund regional innovation and workforce development in STEM with an emphasis on emerging research institutions and historically underserved communities.

Reality check: Congress this year is on track to underfund the main agencies in charge of tech and science R&D as House Republicans target diversity programs and initiatives.

Go deeper