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Lynne Parker at the White House

Parker Continues AI Leadership as Director of a New National Office

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has named Professor Lynne Parker as the founding director of the new National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office. She will lead the organization in overseeing and implementing the national US artificial intelligence (AI) strategy.

The office will be a central hub for federal coordination and collaboration in AI research and policy making—throughout the government, private sector, academia, and with other stakeholders—to ensure and sustain US leadership in this field.

It is established in accordance with the recently passed National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020, policy which Parker also helped develop. This act expands upon and codifies into law many existing AI policies and initiatives throughout the US government.

  • The American AI Initiative, with efforts to increasing AI research investment, unleashing Federal AI computing and data resources, setting AI technical standards, building America’s AI workforce, and engaging with our international allies.
  • The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, launched by the White House in 2018 to coordinate Federal AI efforts, is being expanded and made permanent, and will serve as the senior interagency body referenced in the act that is responsible for overseeing the National AI Initiative.
  • The National AI Research Institutes will focus on a range of AI R&D areas, such as machine learning, synthetic manufacturing, precision agriculture, and extreme weather prediction.
  • Regular updates to the national AI R&D strategic plan
  • Critical AI technical standards activities are expanded to include an AI risk assessment framework.
  • The prioritization of AI related data, cloud, and high-performance computing are expanded to include a plan for a National AI Research Resource providing computer resources and datasets for AI research.
  • An annual AI budget rollup of Federal AI R&D investments directed as part of the American AI Initiative will ensure that the balance of AI funding is sufficient to meet the goals and priorities of the National AI Initiative.

Knoxville native Parker is a recognized expert in AI, and a professor in UT’s Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She has been on full-time assignment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and has served as Deputy US Chief Technology Officer. She previously served the college as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Engagement and as Interim Dean.

Her accolades, professional memberships, and awards include being a fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a distinguished member of the Association for Computing Machinery, a senior member of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education. She won a 2000 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.