Center for Technology and Innovation

The Un⁠i⁠⁠t⁠ed S⁠t⁠a⁠t⁠es ⁠i⁠s ⁠t⁠he Leader of ⁠t⁠he D⁠i⁠g⁠i⁠⁠t⁠al Revolu⁠t⁠⁠i⁠on – Pro-Tech Pol⁠i⁠c⁠i⁠es are Key

By: Dr. Edward Longe / 2024

Dr. Edward Longe


Center for Technology and Innovation


April 12, 2024
Dr. Edward Longe and Turner Loesel

Technological advancements, from artificial intelligence and quantum computing, have helped maintain the United States’ status as the world’s leading economy.  The technology sector contributes nearly $2 trillion in economic output, representing 9% of the economy. More than 9.3 million Americans depend on the tech industry for employment, and the job growth rate is twice the national average. Over the last century, technology has continued to boost efficiency and productivity, accounting for as much as half of the nation’s economic growth. 

Born out of the Industrial Revolution, American innovators solved everyday challenges and created essential tools like the light bulb and automobile, items we often take for granted. Now, we’re in the midst of the Digital Revolution. Emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, transform tasks that once took a significant amount of time to complete and reduce them to seconds. The efficiency gains from streamlined processes and automation can catalyze productivity in every corner of the economy, projected to generate trillions of dollars annually.

In discussions on the economic impact of artificial intelligence, researchers universally acknowledge the transformative potential of AI algorithms to enhance efficiency and productivity. In agriculture, AI determines when crops are ready to harvest or remotely turns off irrigation systems ahead of a rainstorm. A majority of small businesses already use AI, often to improve customer outreach and manage inventory, helping keep hard-earned dollars in the pockets of our shop owners. Meanwhile, healthcare providers use technology to improve patient outcomes and decrease the time spent in hospital waiting rooms. For our youth, It has the potential to help educators compensate for a lack of classroom assistance in schools, serving students in new and valuable ways. The possibilities are limitless.

Following this optimism is a common misconception that AI is replacing jobs. The truth is quite the opposite. Instead, it saves workers time on monotonous tasks, putting extra hours back on their calendars to strategize and build relationships with coworkers or help resolve complex issues. Rather than replace workers, AI will complement current roles, leading to higher wages and even creating new roles altogether.

Nonetheless, legislators—on the federal, state, and local levels—must continue to support policies that foster the development of emerging technologies while quelling public fears. Regulatory efforts are already underway across the pond. The European Union (EU) is set to adopt the AI Act in the coming months, a stringent framework governing AI development that underscores the significance of data privacy and decision-making transparency. Alternatively, the United States has chosen a stance of “permissionless innovation,” wherein regulatory interventions are minimal to avoid imposing cumbersome restrictions like the EU that hinder technological progress.

Innovation is rooted in our past and essential for America’s future. As the leader of the AI revolution, copying costly regulations from the EU and abroad can be disastrous. Instead, the US should continue with its current trajectory, which has solidified the US as an oasis of technological progress.