The trepidation surrounding artificial intelligence and machine learning hasn’t subsided. Many educators wonder how possible is it that machine learning could replace the tasks and jobs we’ve trained for, leaving many without employment? What happens when artificial intelligence takes over? The answer is that we will become more creative. As humans, we have characteristics that no machine will develop: empathy and innovation.
In the ’50s and ’60s, the US and the Soviet Union were locked in a race to send astronauts into space. The decade ended with a US victory, as it landed the first man on the moon in 1969. But now some want the space race to make a return. This time, the US is confronting another nation it sees as a rival: China, whose huge investment in technological innovation could potentially lead it to surpass the United States.
Why is it so important that the U.S. lead in AI? It’s a simple question, with a straightforward answer: AI promises major economic and societal benefits that the U.S. would be foolish to forfeit. PWC estimates that AI technologies could increase global GDP by $15.7 trillion by 2030, a 20 percent increase overall. The estimated increase for North America alone is an eye-popping $3.7 trillion; a 14.5 percent increase in GDP.
If China were only a copier, then the competitive threat to advanced economies would be limited. But there is no reason to believe China won’t follow the path of “Asian tigers” that rapidly evolved from copiers to innovators, which poses a serious threat.
Dubbed the “New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy Independence,” Alexander’s vision would see a doubling of clean energy research funding across DOE’s Office of Science over the next five years. The plan specifically calls for addressing 10 “Grand Challenges”: advanced nuclear, natural gas, carbon capture, electric vehicles, green buildings, batteries, solar power, fusion, advanced computing and energy research funding.
If you're a government -- say, the Chinese government -- looking to spur more innovation in your country, how do you do that? You can think of innovation as a ladder of sorts. It might start with imitation and then progress to adaptation, like tweaking a foreign idea to develop it for a local market. Finally, hopefully, you reach invention, perhaps even big, industry-changing ones.
The US is falling behind on phone design, and foldables are the proof. This year’s Mobile World Congress was full of foldables, from Huawei’s sleek Mate X to Xiaomi’s triple-folding model to TCL’s angular DragonHinge design to Oppo’s prototype to the clunky Royale FlexPai to LG’s sort-of-cheating V50 second screen. But all of those devices have one thing in common: like the last few waves of innovative phone designs released overseas, they won’t be available in America in any meaningful way.
At the top of the list is the United States, followed by Israel and South Korea. Aside from Japan, the rest of the top 10 countries in scientific innovations are all members of the European Union: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Switzerland and Austria. The U.S. led the pack when it came to the number of research papers published and the number of patents granted, followed by China and Japan respectively. But Israel topped the amount spent on research...
The report urges the government to dictate specific funding commitments and resources to enable the innovation of AI systems. It calls for a study that demonstrates where the U.S. will get the most bang for its buck through research and development investments, and also encourages the administration to allocate AI funding to specific government agencies including the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation.
“What’s driving productivity differences over time and across firms and sectors?” Papanikolaou asks. “People say, ‘Oh, it’s innovation, technological change.’ But we don’t have great measures of those things. That’s what motivated our research.” With collaborators Bryan Kelly of Yale, Amit Seru of Stanford, and Matt Taddy of Amazon, Papanikolaou drew on an enormous database of U.S. patents to develop a novel measure of innovation.