The global AI industry is booming, with privately held firms pulling in nearly $40 billion in disclosed investment in 2019 alone. U.S. companies continue to attract the majority of that funding—64 percent of it in 2019—but America’s lead is not guaranteed. And unlike previous technological developments, most AI activity is occurring outside the government. Policymakers will need to understand private-sector investment trends in order to ensure U.S. economic competitiveness and national security in the age of AI.
In their recent report, CSET Research Fellow Zachary Arnold and colleagues explain where commercial AI activity takes place today, who funds it and carries it out, which real-world problems AI companies are trying to solve, and how these facets are changing over time. On December 8, Zach joined Dr. Sarah Sewall, Executive Vice President for Policy at In-Q-Tel, for a discussion of the report’s findings and what they mean for AI policy in the United States.
Remarks and Discussion
Zachary Arnold is a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), where he focuses on AI investment flows and workforce trends. His writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, Defense One and leading law reviews. Before joining CSET, Zach was an associate at Latham & Watkins, a judicial clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and a researcher and producer of documentary films. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard University.
Dr. Sarah Sewall is the Executive Vice President for Policy at In-Q-Tel. She has served as Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, was a member of the Defense Policy Board under Secretaries Gates and Hagel, and was the inaugural Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping. For more than a decade, Dr. Sewall served on the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she directed the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She also has been Minerva Chair at the Naval War College and the Speyer Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. A Harvard graduate, she received her doctorate from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.