Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt: U.S. government needs to lead technological innovation

According to an op-ed published Thursday in The New York Times by Eric Schmidt, a former Google executive, the federal government needs to “re-engage” if the United States is to stay ahead of the curve in technology, according to cNET, amedia outlet. Mr. Schmidt was Google’s chief executive from 2001 to 2011 and later the executive chairman of Alphabet, the parent company. Mr Schmidt said Silicon Valley leaders had too much faith in private companies to ensure US global leadership in technology.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt: U.S. government needs to lead technological innovation

“For the American model to prevail, it must lead,” Schmidt wrote. He added that the US is currently engaged in a technology race with China, which could have “a profound impact on our economy and our defence”.

Mr Schmidt said the US government should set national priorities for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and increase funding in these areas. He also called for more training for future scientists and engineers, strengthening partnerships between the technology industry and the government, and government incentives for 5G network technology to “emerge Huawei’s alternative to competitive products.”

Mr. Schmidt stepped down as alphabet’s executive chairman in January 2018, but remains the company’s “technical adviser.” Last year, he left Alphabet’s board.