A power shift in AI funding may hobble the U.S.

Robotics competition, funded in 2015 by DARPA, the Pentagon's radical innovation lab. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Amid the global race for supremacy in artificial intelligence, two more tech companies have joined Google in refusing to work on military and police surveillance projects, a sign of the brewing rift between tech players and the government.

Why it matters: Some experts worry that, to the degree AI-focused companies go their own way, the field may lose the long-term, fundamental focus of government-funded programs that have produced some of the world's most hallowed inventions.