Americans have seen the negative impact of technology on their lives. From automation that is displacing their jobs to smart phones that are causing unknown psychological issues for our children, Americans are worried about the future, and need to be able to trust the government to play a role in ensuring that we’re prosperous and innovative, but also safe. Technology can bring about new levels of prosperity, but it also holds the potential to disrupt our economies, ruin lives throughout several generations, and, if experts such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are to be believed, destroy humanity.
Technology is advancing at a pace never before seen in human history, and even those developing it don’t fully understand how it works or what direction it’s taking. Recent advances in machine learning have shown that a computer, given certain directives, can learn tasks much faster than humans thought possible even a year ago.
The level of technological fluency that members of our government has shown has created justified fears in the minds of Americans that the government isn’t equipped to create a regulatory system that’s designed to protect them. We’re heading into this new world with a regulatory system that’s designed for technology that’s much less sophisticated than what we’re facing in the near future.
Technological innovation shouldn’t be stopped, but it should be monitored and analyzed to make sure we don’t move past a point of no return. This will require cooperation between the government and private industry to ensure that developing technologies can continue to improve our lives without destroying them. We need a federal government department, with a cabinet-level secretary, that is in charge of leading technological regulation in the 21st century.
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Problems to be Solved
- Technology is developing faster than government can analyze the impact and enforce regulations.
- Even those developing technologies often have no idea what impact they have on humanity.
- Human technical knowledge is quickly reaching the point where there are many existential threats that could develop without us fully understanding said threat.
Artificial Intelligence and other new technologies have the potential to change our economy and society in unpredictable ways. Even techies don’t know what’s going to happen. We need to have government hand-in-hand with technologists to make sure that we fully understand the impact of AI and other innovations before they’re widely adopted in different settings—which means recruiting some of the smartest technologists to work in government and having government actively consulting with innovators.
- Monitor the development of new technology
- More quickly adapt to the changing technological landscape
- Prevent technological threats to humanity from developing without oversight
As President, I will...
- Create a new executive department – the Department of Technology – to work with private industry and Congressional leaders to monitor technological developments, assess risks, and create new guidance. The new Department would be based in Silicon Valley and would initially be focused on Artificial Intelligence.
- Create a new Cabinet-level position of Secretary of Technology who will be tasked with leading the new Department.
- Create a public-private partnership between leading tech firms and experts within government to identify emerging threats and suggest ways to mitigate those threats while maximizing the benefit of technological innovation to society.