TAB Chair VILLARREAL: To Help U.S. Lead, Texas Needs to Maintain Tech & AI Dominance Over China



If the United States does not act, it'll likely lose its leadership position in AI to China

By Massey Villarreal
 
AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — As a leader in the Texas business community, and owner of a technology firm, I've witnessed firsthand the crucial role technology plays in our state's economy and national security. A recent study by the Texas Association of Business released earlier this year highlights the significant impact of the tech industry on job creation and economic growth in Texas – with over 9 million technology workers employed nationwide in 2022 and an annual increase of 3.2%.

Another study also found that Austin is emerging as a "Top Tier City" for tech talent, ranking #1 in the United States.

As technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) continue to evolve, entire sectors of Texas’ and America’s economy will be transformed. But a recent report highlighted the crucial role of a supportive business ecosystem will play in harnessing the economic potential of innovation. 
 
There are tremendous benefits that can be captured by harnessing tech innovations and AI, but lawmakers on all levels of government must remain cautious about pursuing policies that can slow AI innovations and tech developments, risking billions in economic gains and sacrificing our tech leadership to foreign adversaries, mainly China.
 
This is particularly important in light of recent reports that China is developing an AI model trained to promote “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
 
I applaud the Texas Legislature for taking on this important issue through the Texas House Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence & Emerging Technologies, chaired by State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) which recently released its initial interim report. This will help ensure that Texas businesses, startups and tech companies can remain at the forefront of innovation and help drive U.S. AI leadership.

But, a report by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) warns that if the United States does not act, it will likely lose its leadership position in AI to China.

As AI continues to evolve, it’s important that American companies are leading its development and reaping the economic and security benefits of this technology. 
 
If not, China stands to leap ahead of the United States and both Texas and America will be followers, not leaders, in AI innovation. 
 
Massey Villarreal is CEO and President of the Houston-based technology firm Precision Task Group (PTG,) and currently serves as Chairman of the Texas Association of Business.











 
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