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Lynne Parker/White House
UT Professor Lynne Parker stands outside the West Wing of the White House in December 2018.

Artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in society, with applications ranging from national security to health care and many points in between.

Now, under an executive order signed by then President Donald Trump on December 3, AI is poised to become a new tool to help the federal government run more efficiently and effectively.

The executive order lays out guidelines for the development and adoption of AI for use in various government enterprises. It encourages federal agencies to utilize AI technologies to better carry out their missions through such measures as reducing outdated or duplicative regulations, combating fraud, and streamlining application processes.

Lynne Parker, a professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who is on full-time assignment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and currently serves as deputy US chief technology officer, helped in the development of the guidance.

“We’ve spent the last year working with federal agencies to develop and refine these directives, so it is gratifying to see that work come to life through this executive order,” said Parker. “More than that, though, it is exciting to be able to help position our nation to continue to be a leader in the development and adoption of trustworthy AI, whose importance only continues to grow.”

A recognized expert in AI, Parker first went to Washington in 2018 as the assistant director for artificial intelligence in the OSTP before taking on her current role a little more than a year later. A Knoxville native, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Tennessee Tech University (’83), her master’s from UT (’88), and her doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (’94), all in computer science.

She has several accolades, professional memberships, and awards, including 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.

David Goddard (865-974-0683​,