Image credit: John Moore / Getty Images

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.

  • Reports
    • December 17, 2019
    The American AI Century: A Blueprint for Action

    Foreword By Robert O. Work We find ourselves in the midst of a technological tsunami that is inexorably reshaping all aspects of our lives. Whether it be in agriculture, finan...

    By Martijn Rasser, Megan Lamberth, Ainikki Riikonen, Chelsea Guo, Michael Horowitz & Paul Scharre

  • Commentary
    • October 19, 2022
    Sharper: The State of AI

    The U.S. government's recent chip export controls are the latest salvo in the U.S.–China rivalry in artificial intelligence. Semiconductors are a key input for AI systems and ...

    By Anna Pederson

  • Reports
    • October 12, 2022
    Artificial Intelligence and Arms Control

    Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) pose immense opportunity for militaries around the world. With this rising potential for AI-enabled military systems, some activists a...

    By Paul Scharre & Megan Lamberth

  • Video
    • August 21, 2022
    Paul Scharre explains recent attacks in Ukraine War

    Paul Scharre joins BBC World News to discuss recent attacks by Ukrainian soldiers on Russian military supplies, and what effect that has on the war as it reaches six months. ...

    By Paul Scharre

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia