December 23, 2019

America Desperately Needs AI Talent, Immigrants Included

By Megan Lamberth

The United States is engaged in a global technology competition in artificial intelligence. But while the US government has shown commitment to developing AI systems that will positively transform the American economy and national security, the country has neglected its most important resource: talent. Talent is the bedrock of technological advancement in AI.

While some of these needed experts are US-born, high-skilled immigrants are an indispensable component of America’s technological ecosystem. In a new report from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), “The American AI Century: A Blueprint for Action,” my colleagues and I explain why the US needs international talent for continued AI innovation, and provide recommendations for how the country can attract and retain the best AI talent in the world.

Exact numbers vary, but a clear shortage of AI talent exists. While the US is working to develop a more robust indigenous STEM talent base, it will take decades to develop a new generation of American-born AI engineers and technologists. Immigrants are, and will remain, an invaluable source of innovation in the United States.

Read the full article in Breaking Defense.

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