Though the United States has dominated tech innovation for decades, it now faces a committed competitor in China, according to Gilman Louie, co-founder of technology venture capital firm Alsop Louie Partners, and the first CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established with the backing of the CIA. Louie spoke during the ABA National Security Law CLE Conference: Emerging Critical Issues, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security.
According to Louie, China is coming close to leading the world in technological advancement. “China’s timetable is somewhere between 2030 and 2035,” to surpass the U.S. in applied technology innovation, he said. Yet Louie remains optimistic about the future. “The good news is the U.S. has found itself in these situations in the past,” citing the moon landing following the launch of Sputnik, the American industrial surge during WWII, the rebirth of the auto industry in the 1980s and the development of the internet as examples.
To maintain our competitive edge, the U.S. must remove barriers that slow our ability to innovate, he said. “We should use government dollars not just to seed great ideas, but to send the message that ‘if you take the risk and you come up with the solution, you can have a market here,’” he said.
Louie also advocates for a more coordinated response to intellectual property theft, saying our competitors are leveraging our stolen IP. “Clearly we need to do a better job of practicing basic cyber hygiene, and that includes better coordination across our federal agencies,” he said.
Louie was a member of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which released its final report in March 2021, concluding that “Americans have not yet grappled with just how profoundly the AI revolution will impact our economy, national security and welfare.”
Lawyers with a background in national security law can help sort through these complicated issues and create a framework that will withstand the test of the law and eventually, withstand the test of time, Louie said. “I've been fortunate to work with some of the world’s top leading attorneys to work through really tough problems.”
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