The Pentagon’s chief technologist says restrictive immigration policies are hampering the United States from recruiting the best experts in artificial intelligence.
Since all it takes is a computer to develop the algorithms behind machine learning and artificial intelligence, the Defense Department needs to attract top talent rather than merely outspend adversaries in the field, according to Mike Griffin, the under secretary of defense for research and engineering.
“It’s nice to have compute power and all that stuff, but what we really need to do is to have a climate which wants to attract the best minds,” Griffin said during a panel discussion on AI held today in Washington. “Since 9/11, we have really clamped down on a number of different ways in which the United States used to be attractive to the best and brightest.”
Griffin’s comments mirror those of Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet Inc. and current chair of the Defense Innovation Board. Last November, Schmidt noted “the military is not up to speed on AI” and highlighted how immigration policies prevent computer scientists from places like Iran from living and working in the United States.
Do we really want individuals who secretly have allegiance to a country other than America having access to our defense capabilities?