The United States should assume that some foreign adversaries can match its expertise and resources when it comes to artificial intelligence, according to a new report from Rand.
The report says that while the U.S. has enjoyed substantial advantages in innovation and economic strength during the last century, innovations are “diffusing quickly, especially with the strong academic and commercial push to ‘democratize AI.’”
“It is no longer tenable to assume the absence of foreign actors with comparable AI expertise and resources,” the report read.
The report lists innovators in other nations as “probably” the more indicative symbol of this decline. It also noted that the United States is ceding dominance in high-performance computing.
As a response to these trends, Rand recommends leveraging and expanding immigration policy inviting skilled technologists to the U.S. as a supplement to improvements in math and science at the K-12 pipeline, which the report notes will only yield results at longer time-scales.
The report lists immigration policy as a major lever for three reasons.
First, a high percentage of U.S.-resident AI experts are foreign born or first-generation immigrants.
Second, post-graduate programs in which AI expertise develops has relied on student immigration for years as the K-undergraduate pipeline has not supplied enough native graduates.
Third, given the global competition for experts may be close to a zero-sum game, it could be easier to both cultivate and retain U.S. tech dominance if these experts come from other competing nations.