An opportunity agenda for AI


Technology competitions are often won – not by the first to invent – but by the best to deploy. In order to harness the potential of AI, it must be universally accessible and useful. Governments, working closely with the private sector and civil society, can advance this goal by adopting AI to enhance public services and by helping small businesses access AI.

As a first step, governments will need to build more AI expertise themselves. Policymakers should build and scale up “in-house” AI skilling for their IT workforce (similar to how we required all software engineers to enroll in an internal machine-learning curriculum at Google). They should also consider creative ways to bring in private-sector talent, such as an AI Fellows program modeled on the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and the UK’s Government Digital Service. Finally, while every agency will need some AI expertise, governments should consider establishing a centralized resource of experts that can advise agencies across the government.

Looking beyond the public sector, we can help small businesses adopt AI by providing digital coaches and training to underserved communities through programs like the Small Business AI Innovation and Commercialization Institutes (contemplated in the recent U.S. executive order). On top of that, low-interest loan and grant programs can improve access to the capital needed to spur adoption more widely.

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