In the Global Race to Lead on Artificial Intelligence, America Must Win

Across the country, artificial intelligence is powering machines and computers to help us solve problems and work more efficiently. It’s assisting scientists to develop vaccines and treat patients more effectively, securing our nation’s networks and critical infrastructure against cyberattacks, alerting customers of bank fraud and expanding financial opportunities for underserved communities through access to credit, and much more. AI is rapidly changing how businesses operate—and is foundational to a thriving 21st-century economy. By 2030, 70% of businesses globally expect to use AI. Around the world, AI is estimated to boost global GDP by 14% over the same period, accounting for nearly $16 trillion of economic output.

From basic needs, such as food security and supply chain resiliency, to ensuring our nation’s competitive advantage through research and development and the intellectual property rights that underpin it, AI will shape the new economic era. It’s no wonder that, according to a poll conducted by the US Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) 80% of Americans feel it’s vital for the US to lead the world in AI. The reality before us is as simple as it is stark: whoever leads in the advancement of AI will lead the global economy.

To that end, we’re seeing allies and strategic competitors pursue AI leadership. Earlier this year, Russia and China announced that they would work cooperatively to develop AI. Of course, China is already investing heavily in this space — in parallel to engaging in IP theft and cyber espionage to steal American innovation. At the same time, our friends and partners in Europe are looking to write regulations around data and AI, some of which could disadvantage US businesses if not carefully constructed. Nations worldwide are racing ahead — and we must not fall behind.

We must get the political environment right to enable American innovators to lead the AI ​​revolution. With government and industry working together, we will ensure that becomes a reality. We will compete against nations in research and development, create an environment where AI is used responsibly, respect personal liberties, and ensure our workforce is prepared for an AI-driven future. The work of this Commission is a critical next step in the US Chamber’s leadership on this issue, building on the AI principles we released in 2019.

Recently, the US Chamber Artificial Intelligence Commission on Competition, Inclusion, and Innovation wrapped its final field hearing. The US Chamber formed this Commission in January to better understand how our nation can lead the world in adopting AI technologies and enact sound regulations to harness its potential.

Co-chaired by former Congressman John Delaney and former Congressman Mike Ferguson, the Commission has held public hearings Austin, Cleveland, Palo Alto, London, and Washington, DC, bringing together thought leaders, researchers, and experts in industry, academia, and civil society. Here is what the Commission found during those public hearings:

  • In Austin, we discussed the global competition for AI leadership and the need for policy frameworks that support innovation. Maintaining US global leadership in artificial intelligence is of paramount importance, especially in the face of increasing competition from China, but we must also emphasize the need to examine fairness, bias, and ethics in practicing AI.
  • In Cleveland, we heard from health practitioners about how AI can reduce costs and improve patient care in the healthcare industry and why it’s important to remember that at the heart of artificial intelligence are human beings and human-driven interests.
  • In Palo Alto, witnesses agreed that we must ensure AI complements workers and its benefits are widely shared across society. AI will create millions of new jobs, which should offer new possibilities and opportunities for people in every community.
  • In London, we discussed properly regulating AI in financial and global institutions as the technology advances worldwide. We must be wary of the risks that accompany competing on AI while emphatically promoting democratic values.
  • And in Washington, DC, we talked to experts who warned that the US may lose its position as a global AI leader if we do not modernize our IP system and bolster our national security strategy.

As AI grows increasingly ubiquitous in our everyday lives and crucial to our nation’s economic growth, these issues are inextricably linked. This Fall, we look forward to the Commission’s final recommendations to help guide policymakers toward durable, bipartisan AI policy solutions. The US Chamber is committed to ensuring our recommendations produce actions, and those actions produce results.

About the authors

Tom Quaadman

Executive Vice President, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC), US Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President, Center for Technology Engagement (C_TEC), US Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), US Chamber of Commerce, Senior Advisor to the President and CEO, US Chamber of Commerce

Tom Quaadman develops and executes strategic policies to implement a global corporate financial reporting system, address ongoing attempts of minority shareholder abuse of the proxy system, communicate the benefits of efficient American capital markets, and promote an innovation economy and the long-term interests of all investors.

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