As part of his recently unveiled $2 trillion infrastructure investment plan, President Joe Biden said his administration would commit $180 billion to “R&D and industries of the future.” Among the sectors earmarked for the money are advanced computing, which includes quantum computers, as well as semiconductor design and manufacturing.
These have become central to the U.S.’s technological rivalry with China, which sees quantum computing and specialized chips powering artificial intelligence applications as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to leapfrog America in high tech innovation. Former Google CEO and billionaire Eric Schmidt is among those who have been warning of the risk of a “national emergency” if America lets its lead slip in AI and other critical technologies. In its announcement, the Biden administration noted that the country is one of a few nations whose investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP has fallen over the past quarter century.
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