The United States may lose its position as a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) if we do not modernize our intellectual property system and strengthen our national security strategy. This emerged as a main topic in the fifth and final field session of the US Chamber of AI’s Artificial Intelligence, Hosted in Washington DC last week. Experts from civil society, government, academia, and industry discuss this and other important issues related to the use and regulation of artificial intelligence.
United States Chamber President and CEO Susan Clark opened the hearing by noting several challenges ahead, such as cooperation between Russia and China to compete against the United States, intellectual property theft, and regulation from abroad. Regarding the committee’s upcoming policy recommendations, she noted, “You can count on the American Chamber of Commerce to do something in this regard. You can count on us not just to produce a technical document but to turn it into a business, into a business.”
Here are six recommendations for how the United States should lead AI:
1. Updating the IP system
The intellectual property system in the United States is an important tool for ensuring technological progress, but it must be updated when it comes to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. Section 101 – the patented subject section of the Patent Act – has not been re-discussed in Congress since 1793.
Patent symbol [our founders] Andre Ianko, former undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, said. So, to say that the patent system, at least from this perspective, needs updating is an understatement. It’s very crucial, and it’s a matter of immediate national security.”
In his quest to modernize the intellectual property system, Ianco has highlighted two important questions that must be addressed – 1) Should AI algorithms be patentable? and 2) Should an AI algorithm that invents and invent new things be allowed to be patented? These issues must be addressed to enable IP to catch up with AI and the United States to maintain the world’s AI leadership.
In his testimony, Christian Hannon, a patent attorney currently with the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, noted that the agency has been “working with the innovation community and experts in AI to advance the understanding and reliability of intellectual property rights such as those associated with AI technologies.”
Maintaining the United States’ leadership in emerging technologies is a priority for the USA office, which recently partnered between artificial intelligence and emerging technologies and published a study on the growth of artificial intelligence as evidenced by patent data. “In short, we cannot sustain innovation around artificial intelligence without strong and reliable intellectual property rights, which are essential to the prosperity of our innovative nation,” Hannon said. “To grow our economy and maintain our competitiveness globally, we must promote invention and patents more than ever, including for disadvantaged communities.”
2. Dealing with IP theft as a threat to national security
Theft of US intellectual property is also a critical national security issue. In 2019, China surpassed the United States in international patent registration. In 2020, the country again surpassed the US leadership by 17%.
“I think it’s because they’re stealing our intellectual property and doing copy-paste work into the patent system,” said Brian Drake, federal chief technology officer at Accrete AI Government. “We need to treat intellectual property as a national security asset.”
3. Strengthening artificial intelligence as a priority for national security
When it comes to the competition for artificial intelligence, maintaining a leadership in technology is a national security imperative.
“When I think about this space from a national security perspective, I think it’s an all-out attack on our country,” Drake warned. “I am talking about all the instruments of national power from our adversaries that are directed at all the instruments of national security and our centers of economic power. This means their intelligence apparatus, that is, their direct and indirect financing apparatus, that is, their military-commercial integration activities. All of these are directed towards artificial intelligence. Nor Get it wrong, it’s about winning the future war.”
said Yel Bajraktari, CEO of the Special Competitiveness Studies Project and a member of the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee (NAIAC). “Technical leadership means setting the rules for how they are used, controlling the infrastructure for their use, building the industries of the future, and building the best militaries to protect our societies.”
“The engine’s first advantage in technology is enormous,” Bajraktari continued. “It is important for our country to be ahead of China because this is a competition of values. We want these technologies to be developed in accordance with our standards and ethics, which is at odds with how China uses them against its own citizens, by surveilling and suppressing their own minorities.”
4. Raising the strategic advantage of the United States in the field of artificial intelligence
American values are an effective strategy and competitive advantage when it comes to AI.
“I would argue that it is not that we need to be leaders, but rather that we need to maintain our leadership because our brand is trust,” said Miriam Vogel, President and CEO of EqualAI and President of NAIAC. “I think what we have that some of our competitors don’t have is the belief that our AI does what it says it will do, that it is effective and comprehensive. ”
Compared to other countries where the focus is solely on data retention, the US also focuses on being inclusive, which Vogel sees as a competitive advantage. “The more people that are included in the AI creation framework, the more people can benefit from our AI,” she said.
“In the face of digital authoritarianism, the United States needs to present a democratic model for the responsible use of artificial intelligence for national security,” Bajraktari stressed. “Public trust will depend on the justified assertion that our government’s use of artificial intelligence will respect privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights.”
5. Ensure that AI is effective in decision making
Without enough thought and presentation, machine learning results may not be trusted or used effectively in the military.
“If it’s not actionable, if it’s not relevant, if it’s not relevant, if it doesn’t have contextual information…[analysts] said Benjamin Harvey, founder and CEO of AI Squared. “This means that there are people in the field who are not getting the information they need because the organization cannot provide it in a way that makes them feel confident in what they write about.”
This discrepancy affected Harvey personally. During the hearing, he talked about how his brothers were mentally and physically affected by their deployments. “All I could think about was when I was at the NSA, I was the head of data science, and I couldn’t get the results from our data science into the applications fast enough. And all I could imagine was that if we could do that, we’d be able to prevent some Injuries and saving lives. Not only for my brothers, but for other military war fighters who were in hostile areas.”
6. Win a talent contest
Maintaining the long-term leadership of AI means winning the competition for talent around the world and growing new talent at home.
“The bottom line is that our national security depends on our ability to attract nurturing and retain artistic talent, and without this talent pool, everything else becomes irrelevant,” said Colin Carroll, director of Applied Intuition. “If we enact the original immigration policies or even the status quo that we have now, I really expect that by the end of the decade, the educational and research power base of AI will move primarily to China and India [will] Be perfect. And it would be really difficult, if not impossible to overcome.”
Instead, Carroll emphasized, “We need immigration reform, ideally a bipartisan, that prioritizes incentives for foreign talent to attend school, do research, work here, and become truly American citizens.”
To address the talent shortage in the government, Bajraktari called for building new digital talent pipelines and expanding existing programs on a larger scale.
“We recommended the creation of the National Digital Reserve Corp.,” he said. “All the military services have a reserved body. We talk to a lot of technologists in Silicon Valley. A lot of them want to help our government, but they don’t want to leave their jobs in the private sector. So what middle way can you create for them? You create a backup program, where They serve our government for two weeks a year, and that will give you access to the best technology for people.”
To explore critical issues related to AI and provide independent, enduring, and bipartisan recommendations to policy makers, the United States Chamber’s Amnesty International Committee held five field hearings in Austin, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; Palo Alto, California; London, United Kingdom; and Washington, DC. The commission’s final recommendations will be published in Fall 2022. Get the latest from our website americaninnovators.com/aicommission/
About the authors
Policy Director, US Chamber of Commerce Technology Sharing Center (C_TEC)