Co-Chairs Cleveland and Price, distinguished Commissioners and staff, thank you for the opportunity to testify on how China’s education system strives to train a workforce for strategic and emerging industries. It is an honor to be here alongside esteemed experts on this panel. I will detail how China is using a slate of centralized plans to develop its artificial intelligence (AI) education system and assess the effectiveness of measures responding to these plans, which includes the Ministry of Education’s work to standardize an AI major across 440 universities, along with the launch of more than 50 university AI institutes. I will close with some of the risks that these developments pose to the United States and provide here a set of four recommendations for how the United States can boost its own AI talent competitiveness. These recommendations are:
- Starting at the secondary school level, U.S. education should evolve its focus from computer science education to additionally incorporate AI, and increase partnerships with industry to bring expertise into the classroom.
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) should work with U.S. industry to establish standards for AI and AI-related certifications, similar to the process it coordinated for cyber education.1
- The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) should establish hiring criteria for federal AI and AI-adjacent jobs that are based on portfolios of work and certifications.
- Congress should authorize increased funding to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST). ITEST should increase the number of AI education initiatives to develop K-12 students’ interest in relevant career paths.
Download Full TestimonyDahlia Peterson’s Testimony Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
- Diana Gehlhaus, Luke Koslosky, Kayla Goode, and Claire Perkins, “U.S. AI Workforce: Policy Recommendations” (Center for Security and Emerging Technology, October 2021), https://cset.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/CSET-U.S.-AI-Workforce-Policy-Recommendations.pdf.