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Our Expert Voices conversation on artificial intelligence.

Creating a machine that exhibits the same general skills and flexibility as a human brain is still a long way away. In fact, I'm confident that no existing technology will lead to an artificial general intelligence. We will need a wild new idea to make that happen. I'd guess there's a 5 percent chance that someone will make this kind of breakthrough in any decade.

Where will this breakthrough take place? At this point, it's a numbers game, depending on which country has the most computer scientists, either homegrown or imported.

Based on that logic, I would bet strongly on China.

The international implications are enormous. Economists predict that increased deployment of even the limited form of AI we have now could boost GDP by 2 percent annually through 2035. AI is critical to national defense and is a powerful resource for tackling challenges in health care, food production and manufacturing.

Bottom line: Given the stakes, it should be a U.S. priority to increase the quantity and quality of AI researchers that we train and recruit.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules, caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
1 hour ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.