INTERNATIONAL.- Top U.S. tech executives and researchers want the Trump administration to invest more in artificial intelligence and craft policies they hope will strengthen the economy without displacing jobs.
The administration said Thursday it is doing just that. President Donald Trump’s technology adviser Michael Kratsios pledged to a gathering of corporate leaders that “the Trump administration will ensure our great nation remains the global leader in AI.”
Tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft as well as major retailers, banks, drugmakers, carmakers and food companies participated Thursday in the White House’s first summit on artificial intelligence. Some tech leaders have pushed the administration to focus more on AI and related issues in science and technology. Academic leaders are also pitching for investment in basic research.
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There is little doubt that U.S. tech companies and universities are already at the forefront in developing self-driving cars, robotics, smarter health diagnostics and other advances that rely on increasingly intelligent machines. But Trump’s lack of public emphasis on both the economic promise and potential dangers of automation has contrasted with other world leaders who have made a vocal push to get their countries ahead.
“It’s been a huge missed opportunity up until this point,” said Robert Seamans, a White House economist during the Obama administration who now teaches at the NYU Stern School of Business. Naveen Rao, who leads the AI product unit at chipmaker Intel, said the United States enjoys “a nice lead that happened organically” and with help from prior investments going back decades. But, he said, “other countries are organized, and organizing right now, around AI and how it’s going to change the future of work and the economy.”