Hi, Ryan here, barely.

After 12 hours in JFK airport Monday, I'm done with summer travel hell. See you some other time, Seattle!

Today's Login is 1,179 words, a 4-minute read.

1 big thing: Immigrants drive America's AI dream

Data: NFAP analysis, Forbes; Note: Number of employees as of April 2023; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: NFAP analysis, Forbes; Note: Number of employees as of April 2023; Chart: Axios Visuals

Immigrants to the U.S. have played a large part in founding AI companies and studying in AI fields, per a new study from the National Foundation for American Policy, shared exclusively with Axios' Ashley Gold.

Why it matters: As the generative AI boom reshapes the country's tech job market, the industry is already strapped for talent and constantly pushing for immigration policies that bring in more workers from abroad.

  • Some have warned that the U.S. risks its AI leadership if it doesn't increase the number of high-skilled immigrants allotted per year and offer other incentives for students to stay in the U.S. after graduation.
  • At the same time, American lawmakers are advocating for better training programs to advance homegrown AI and tech talent, but getting Congress to allocate money is a slow process.

What they're saying: "Foreign-born individuals play a crucial role in AI as researchers and experts consider retaining international students after graduation vital to America's leadership in artificial intelligence," the study's author, Stuart Anderson, writes.

  • "The variety of AI-focused businesses founded by immigrants shows how artificial intelligence will likely benefit many Americans.... Immigrants provide America with an edge in the global battle over technology and artificial intelligence."

By the numbers:

  • 28 of 43 (65%) of the top AI companies in the U.S. were founded or co-founded by immigrants;
  • 70% of full-time graduate students in fields related to AI are international students;
  • 18 of 43 (42%) of top U.S. based-AI companies have a founder who studied in the U.S. as an international student.

Details: The study bases its top 50 U.S. AI companies on the Forbes AI 50. The founders of OpenAI, which has arguably caused the most buzz for generative AI, include immigrant founders from South Africa, Canada and Poland.

  • The study also highlights the India-born founders of AI startup Adept, Niki Parmar and Ashish Vaswani.
  • Other countries where notable AI founders or co-founders are from include Israel, Argentina, Syria, Lebanon, the U.K., Taiwan, France, Iran, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
  • Those founders studied at universities including, among others, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brown.

The big picture: Both Microsoft and Google — the two tech giants most involved in pushing generative AI, ChatGPT and large language models into the mainstream — are led today by immigrants from India.

  • U.S. tech firms have long supported programs that provide visas for skilled workers from overseas. Those programs became more controversial and hit delays under the Trump administration, but have returned to smoother functioning under President Biden.

2. Neuro-forecasting the next No. 1 song

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

AI researchers say they've found a way to separate the hit songs from the duds with 97% accuracy.

Why it matters: Record labels and streaming platforms need help sifting through more than 20,000 new songs a day that come their way.

  • As researchers find more patterns in our emotional reactions to music, artists and producers will attempt to tailor music to our tastes.

The big picture: Accurately predicting mass behavior by measuring the brain activity of a handful of people has big political and economic implications — and we're now that much closer to such a reality.

  • Movie studios could gain the most in the cultural sector: A box-office bomb can leave a studio nursing a $100 million loss.

The details: Instead of asking people why they liked a particular song, the researchers directly measured neurophysiologic responses to music.

  • Claremont Graduate University researchers used sensors to track the emotional responses of 33 people as they listened to 24 songs.
  • The dataset allowed the researchers to then find hits across a much bigger set of songs with 97% accuracy.

What they're saying: "If in the future wearable neuroscience technologies like the ones we used for this study become commonplace, the right entertainment could be sent to audiences based on their neurophysiology," report author Paul Zak told the Jerusalem Post.

Yes, but: Critics have long argued that culture shaped by committee and consensus tends toward bland monotony — and this kind of AI works like one big silicon committee.

  • Also: Tastes change all the time.

Flashback: Efforts to personalize music delivery date back decades, including Polyphonic HMI, the subject of a Harvard Business School case study, which first attempted to use AI to predict hot songs in 2003, leading to hits (and a handful of Grammys) from artists including Norah Jones.

What we're watching: Opinion pollsters and marketers are likely to be the next to pick up on the potential of this sort of brain mapping.

3. Labor shortage looms over broadband money

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The federal government's largest effort yet to connect all Americans to the internet is setting off a race among states to find broadband infrastructure workers, Axios Pro Tech Policy's Maria Curi reports.

Driving the news: The Biden administration on Monday announced how $42.5 billion worth of internet infrastructure grants will be distributed among states.

  • The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program, along with other efforts, provides the resources needed to connect every person and small business to affordable high-speed internet by 2030, according to the Biden administration.

Yes, but: Success will depend on training enough workers doing the manual and technical labor to get Americans online. Think splicing and laying out fiber; digging trenches for underground utilities, and building towers.

Zoom out: All states have about six months, starting when they're formally notified of their grants on June 30, to submit a proposal to NTIA explaining how they'll use the money — including to build a workforce pipeline.

  • In addition to the near-term demand for workers to build new infrastructure, people will be needed for long-term maintenance and capacity needs.
  • At a May 23 House hearing, NTIA administrator Alan Davidson said workforce and training issues "are going to be huge," and predicted there will be as many as 100,000 to 150,000 jobs that states won't be able to fill.

A version of this story was published first on Axios Pro. Unlock more news like this by talking to our sales team.

4. Take note

On Tap

Trading Places

  • Stability AI is losing two execs — head of research David Ha and chief operating officer Ren Ito, per Bloomberg.
  • Philipp Rösler, former vice-Chancellor of Germany, is joining the board of CV VC, a global blockchain technology venture capital firm, as is Volkswagen executive Yvonne Bettkober.


  • Meta is launching parental supervision Messenger and new anti-harassment features for Instagram. (Meta)
  • In the 2024 election, "every side, every grassroots group and every politician will use generative AI to do harm to their opponents," former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Monday at the Aspen Ideas Festival. (Axios)

4. After you Login

If you're feeling stuck this week — in an airport, or otherwise — "Padam" your way out of it with Down Under diva Kylie Minogue.

  • Her new single, "Padam Padam," is No. 1 in the Billboard electronic music chart — with no AI help, as far as we know — I can't get it out of my head.

Thanks to Scott Rosenberg for editing and Bryan McBournie for copy editing this newsletter.