Skip to main content

At the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) 2020 CES conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Internet Association (IA) President and CEO Michael Beckerman participated in a panel titled “The Global Race for Leadership in AI” to discuss how AI is shaping both technology and global politics.  

Beckerman joined moderator CTA’s Vice President of Technology Policy Doug Johnson and panelists Accenture North America AI Policy Lead Adelina Cooke, Republic of Italy Member of Parliament Mattia Fantinati, Legislative Assistant for Congressman Jerry McNerney Svetlana Matt, and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Chief Technology Officer Lynne Parker. Former Congressman Darrell Issa also delivered opening remarks on the impressive progress and innovation in AI that Beckerman seconded.

The panel began with Johnson asking participants what leadership in artificial intelligence means and if there is such a thing as winning the global race in AI. Beckerman responded that while it’s not a “zero-sum game,” there will be winners that come out ahead in the race to develop cutting-edge technology. He also noted that private sector leadership in AI will take form in innovation, transparency, and safeguards, while government leadership should be provided in policies that both encourage and allow for innovation.

In terms of leadership, from the companies standpoint certainly that will come from innovation and the ability to put in transparency and safeguards to ensure there’s not bias or discrimination through artificial intelligence.

Michael Beckerman

The conversation then shifted to the benefits consumers will gain from rapidly developing AI technology. Beckerman emphasized that AI not only makes everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable, like using efficient navigation to get to work on time or finding new music through curated playlists, but in the future it could also provide life-saving solutions from medical advancements to fewer auto accidents with autonomous vehicles.

The scale of the benefits to people is everything from the nice, fun to have on your day to day, and things that will literally save some people in this room.

Michael Beckerman

Finally the panelists discussed the impact of AI on businesses of different sizes, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large companies. Beckerman pointed out that the benefits for smaller companies is absolutely enormous by using AI to scale.

For smaller companies you’re seeing more and more, the ability through using cloud technologies to be able to scale on demand, and using artificial intelligence and doing that can make a small company look like and act like a larger company, and gives them the opportunity to become global and compete.

Michael Beckerman
  • Read more about Beckerman’s panel in TechRepublic and POLITICO
  • Read Beckerman’s op-ed in The Hill on the need for U.S. investment in AI.
  • Learn more about internet companies’ efforts to improve user experiences through artificial intelligence on IA’s website.