U.S. should hold Artificial Intelligence lead for workforce training


ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As President Trump has declared with his America First agenda, global economic rivalry is a national security issue. Those nations that fall behind economically could face military threats down the road, endangering their sovereignty.

POTUS has reinforced this view with his multiple bilateral trade renegotiations and the use of tariffs on imports into the United States as a weapon of choice. Mr. Trump has been right in using the tariff hammer to ensure America competes on a level playing field once again. The result has been a shockingly rapid reset with our trading adversaries around the world.

In addition to rebalancing trade, America must hold onto its lead in critical breakthrough technologies. Artificial intelligence is an area that has been reported on frequently as China and other competitors invest large sums of capital to catch up to and possibly surpass the United States. Their AI agenda has been enabled by American hi-tech firms who are eager to exploit the Chinese market and frequently transfer sensitive technology to our rivals.

“Tens of thousands of people are being hired to shore up cybersecurity, help censor online content, and try to make China No.1 in the application of artificial intelligence (AI), as capital pours into both start-ups and more mature businesses at a time when the government is demanding rapid development,” wrote Reuters in 2018.

A subset of these vital technologies is workforce training using gaming in lieu of legacy video training modules. This technology has the capacity to revolutionize the workplace, add to a business’ bottom line, and improve the customer experience. America should not allow this technology’s production to be moved overseas, which will enable further corporate knowledge to be exploited by our adversaries.

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The timing is critical as the hi-tech world is changing rapidly across the globe; this change presents challenges to American entrepreneurs. Demographic change also presents hurdles to American CEOs.

“Another reality we are not prepared for is the fact that our workers are different today. Everybody is talking about millennials that struggle in the workforce, and if you are not worn out by those references rest assured because we have a whole new group coming up behind them looking for work – Generation Z. With massive skill gaps caused by growing up in a time where technology has taken the place of face to face communication and at a time when higher education is failing to properly prepare students for the workforce challenges of today, young people are struggling to find their footing in today’s workforce,” declared Sam Caucci, CEO of 1Huddle, a gaming workforce training company.

The U.S. government seems to be getting the message. Just this month the U.S. Air Force and a STEM educational region in Ohio partnered to further development of workforce training using gaming technology.

“The Dayton Regional STEM School has opened the doors to a 30,000-square-foot building expansion that includes educational outreach center for gaming software and programming aimed at Air Force training.

“The STEM School and the Air Force Research Laboratory partnered to co-locate the Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory, or GRILL, last October. The Air Force allocated nearly $2 million to pay for equipment and staff,” wrote Military.com.

As millennials and Generation Z enter the workforce, the way companies train them will have a major impact on business success. Therefore, workforce training using gaming will be critical to getting these new employees up to speed, as they have spent their entire lives on mobile devices.

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“The key value a brick-and-mortar retailer can provide that online retailers can’t is an in-store experience. What happens to shoppers in your store can either bring them back or drive them away (and toward someone else’s website),” added Mr. Caucci.

Using a Chinese version of mobile gaming to train your employees would open a business up to espionage concerns, loss of corporate secrets and methods, and other critical information being passed on to Beijing’s prying eyes.

Let’s keep this technology an American export.

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