Former Google CEO Wants to Create a Government-Funded University to Train A.I. Coders
The Digital Service Academy would compete with Stanford and MIT
The U.S. government’s approach of letting Silicon Valley drive the country’s technological boom has left the government itself scrambling for tech talent.
Now, a federal commission led by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work wants to create a university to train new government coders.
The school would be called the U.S. Digital Service Academy, and it would be an accredited, degree-awarding university that trains students in digital skills like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Students would get a traditional school year of coursework, with internships in the public and private sector during summers.
The Digital Service Academy would theoretically supply the United States with a fresh stream of young talent already ideologically invested in serving the federal government. However, it would compete with elite institutions like Stanford and MIT, where graduates often have their pick of private-sector work and can still go into the public sector if they choose.
“If the recruitment only happens where the roads are paved, you’ve missed a lot of opportunities and a lot of talent.”
The commission set to recommend the new institution, called the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), unanimously voted to make the recommendation in an upcoming report to Congress during a publicly broadcast meeting on July 20.
NSCAI commissioner and former FCC head Mignon Clyburn raised the issue that whatever organization Congress created would have to make an effort to be inclusive in its recruitment.
“Talent comes in many forms and from many places,” Clyburn said. “If the recruitment only happens where the roads are paved, you’ve missed a lot of opportunities and a lot of talent.”
Congress created the NSCAI in 2018 as a response to China’s drastic investment into artificial intelligence. It taps industry and government veterans to rethink how…