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Artificial intelligence is becoming a hot topic in Washington. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

The White House said Thursday that it will establish a new committee bringing together officials from across the federal government to look at issues related to artificial intelligence.

Why it matters: Policymakers are taking early steps to wrap their heads around artificial intelligence. But Silicon Valley isn't waiting for them to catch up, debuting developments such as virtual assistants that can convincingly call a restaurant host to make a dinner reservation.

The details: The new Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence will include "the most senior R&D officials of the Federal Government" and offer guidance to the administration on research priorities, according to a White House fact sheet.

  • It will also "identify opportunities to leverage Federal data and computational resources to support our national AI R&D ecosystem," the White House said. The tech industry has been calling for access to more government data, which they think could be used to improve AI systems.
  • The development comes despite the fact that the White House hasn't staffed certain key positions, like U.S. CTO and presidential science adviser, that would normally work on these topics.

What's next: Officials will talk with industry representatives Thursday afternoon about issues like ethics in AI technologies and the potential for their rollout to disrupt the lives of American workers.

Yes, but: "[T]o a certain degree job displacement is inevitable. But we can’t sit idle, hoping eventually the market will sort it out," Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy Michael Kratsios is expected to say. "We must do what Americans have always done: adapt."

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
13 mins ago - World

Globetrotting climate envoy Kerry makes Biden team’s first visit to China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

John Kerry became the first senior Biden administration official to touch down in China this week. He's also been the first to sit down with a string of world leaders.

Why it matters: Kerry may no longer be secretary of state, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise after a glance at his calendar. The unusual role could make Kerry a foreign policy force multiplier for President Biden, or potentially a source of mixed messages.

Chicago releases video of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old boy

A small memorial is seen on April 15 in Chicago where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a police officer in March. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Chicago's independent police review board on Thursday released the body camera footage of an officer's fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29.

The big picture: Tension continues to rise nationwide in response to police misconduct and racism. Thursday's footage release comes days after officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright in a traffic stop near Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, is ongoing.

4 hours ago - Podcasts

State AG candidate Jen Jordan talks Georgia's time under the microscope

Georgia has become the center of American politics, in an era wherein state issues and officials have taken on elevated national prominence.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Georgia state Sen. Jen Jorden, a Democrat running for attorney general, about her state's time in the national spotlight, if she'd defend the voting law as AG and if Will Smith should have pulled his movie production from her state.