The last couple of weeks have been phenomenal. The week before last I was in San Francisco for an event with Jim Pugh that drew 100 people.
While I was out there I met with the team at OpenAI, a leading research outfit backed by Elon Musk. OpenAI is working to advance artificial intelligence for our collective benefit, while also making sure it doesn’t become a destructive force.
AI has the potential to transform our lives and tackle the biggest problems we currently face. It could speed up genetic research and help us cure cancer. It could help mitigate the impact of climate change by accurately modeling the effects of various geoengineering measures. It could even eventually help us educate our children through personalized teaching and coaching.
But it could also cause massive problems. One expert described the potential dangers as ‘like nuclear weapons, but worse,’ because rogue actors could use it for destructive purposes. AI will become a key issue for America moving forward, and our government needs to speed up to a point where it is at least in the room and capable of identifying the right concerns.
The U.S. is in danger of lagging behind in AI research. Other governments see AI as mission-critical and are investing tens of billions of dollars to race ahead. China has built ‘an AI island’ that will soon be home to tens of thousands of computers, all funded by the state. Thanks to government support, Chinese researchers also have access to the best raw materials and infrastructure, and enjoy unfettered access to data, which is like food for AI.
The U.S. researchers I spoke to did not want an arms race—but they suggested that it’s a lot easier to collaborate if you are one of the leaders in the field. As President, I will ensure that we continue to lead in the crucial area of AI development. We need to team up with and support our private companies and get them the resources they need to reach the cutting edge.
While I was in the Bay Area, I noticed a trend: the more people knew about AI and automation, the more concerned they were about the economy and the displacement of workers. It made my campaign seem all the more vital.
I spent last week doing interviews for the launch of my book, which was a lot of fun. I did an interview with Brian Lehrer and appeared on Business Insider, and many more articles will be live in the coming weeks.
It’s great to finally have the book out there—I’m getting positive feedback every day. But the book is only important insofar as it makes change real and more possible.
That is one reason I’m so grateful to each of you—for making this campaign your own. Please do make a contribution so that we can reach more people like you and grow the tribe. And please spread the word. Let’s start fixing the problems.
Let’s start putting Humanity First again.