4. Intel wants U.S. help on AI research
My Axios colleague Kaveh Waddell took a look at the twin challenges facing U.S. chipmakers in the battle for AI supremacy.
Not only do companies like Intel and Nvidia face competition from China, but they are also seeing some of their biggest customers opt to do their own chips, tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon.
Driving the news: In a new policy paper shared first with Axios, Intel is calling on the government to implement a national AI strategy that will position the U.S. to beat upstarts in China and elsewhere.
Background: The semiconductor industry has been flooded with new entrants in the U.S., Europe, and China, each playing for a piece of a new pie that nobody's quite sized up yet.
- The new arena of competition: chips special-made for AI, a quickly shifting field that requires deep expertise in designing and manufacturing silicon.
- In an executive order last month, the Trump administration set down general goals, but without specificity or funding.
- Yes, but: Experts say it is years late. Chinese companies will pose a threat within 2-5 years, depending on the type of AI chip they're making, predicts Naveen Rao, Intel's head of AI.
- "I'm still a little disappointed [by] the speed with which we're acting," Rao tells Axios.
What Intel wants: The government should unlock its vast stores of data — a move that, while raising thorny privacy questions, is meant to erase China's massive data advantage.
- Rao and David Hoffman, Intel's associate general counsel and top privacy officer, both say the government should open up its health data, such as from the Veterans Administration.
- The U.S. could also strike data-sharing deals with other countries, Hoffman said, gaining access to a bigger pool of data.
- To get there, the U.S. could implement a national privacy law, which would make countries comfortable sharing data with the U.S., Hoffman says.
What we're watching: China's rise "hasn't happened yet in the AI market, but it will," Rao says. "I have no doubt."
Go deeper: Kaveh has more here.