We believe technology can serve as a force for progress: IBM CEO to POTUS Biden

By : |November 11, 2020 0

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna on Monday congratulated President-elect Joseph Biden on winning the 2020 presidential election. He also congratulated Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and pledged Big Blue’s commitment to the US. He pledged IBM’s working with the incoming administration to tackle “the monumental challenges our nation faces.”

As such, Krishna suggested to the next president some policy initiatives that he believes will help a Biden administration. They will help leverage technological innovation to solve some of the most pressing problems. Thus, here are IBM’s four big tech-related policy suggestions for the incoming administration.

Leverage Science and Technology to Fight COVID-19

President-elect Biden’s first post-election order of business was convening a task force of experts to advise him on the COVID-19 crisis. Krishna suggested the incoming administration concurrently establish a Scientific Readiness Reserve. He suggested that it should constitute a group of scientists empowered by private-sector computing resources. He suggested that they should be swiftly mobilized in times of crisis.

IBM has already laid some of the groundwork by helping form the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, a group speeding the work of scientists developing treatments for the virus. Artificial intelligence already can play an important role in helping doctors diagnose and treat illnesses, Krishna noted. Supporting a National Research Cloud for AI would further help scientists access the public and private sector tools that boost their work.

IBM is also ready to work with government labs to provide scientists access to quantum computing systems that help them research new medications in the years to come.

Promote Unity Inclusion and Close the Skills Gap

Krishna alluded to Biden’s emphasis in his acceptance speech of “the vital role that education and educators play in America‘s success,” and his specific mentions of his wife, Dr Jill Biden, herself an educator. “IBM agrees, and hopes to work with you, Dr Biden, and your Administration to advance a STEM For All agenda because a four-year college degree should not be the only path to success,” Krishna wrote.

There should be more pathways to fast-growing technology jobs that close the digital divide, Krishna said, including non-traditional programs like apprenticeships and six-year high schools that combine academics with career-focused skill training. “We hope to work with you on this goal,” Krishna said. But IBM knows “technological skills alone won‘t erase barriers to advancement or alleviate systemic racism.”

That’s why IBM advocates for the passage of laws advancing inclusion and equality of opportunities like the Equality Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. IBM also hopes to see the federal government restore the DACA program to protect undocumented residents who came to the United States as children and pass the DREAM Act that gives them a pathway to citizenship.

Modernize Digital Infrastructure and Promote Sustainability

The pandemic, and the shift to remote work, has demonstrated the vital importance of the country’s digital infrastructure, Krishna said. To fully realize the promise of our era’s rapid technological change; the incoming administration should encourage federal agencies to adopt a hybrid cloud IT infrastructure, he suggested.

Krishna told Biden the private sector; including core banking and telecommunications networks supported by IBM; “is already swiftly adopting this approach because it allows for better management of data and services.”

Biden should also seek to promote an open and secure 5G ecosystem through open radio network standards, Krishna said. IBM hopes to work with the Biden administration to pass a national privacy law that governs the modern digital economy. A digital economy leads to a more sustainable economy, Krishna said. And IBM “strongly supports” the United States re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement. Big Blue is also ready to work with Biden and Congress on passing an economy-wide carbon tax. This reduces emissions contributing to climate change.

Build Trust In Technology

IBM agrees with Biden’s previous statements about ensuring technology plays a responsible role in society. A “precision regulation” approach could help create “ethical guardrails for the use of new technologies without hindering the pace of technological innovation,” Krishna said.

IBM is ready to work with the new administration on measures prohibiting the use or export of facial recognition technology for mass surveillance, racial profiling, or any violations of basic human rights and freedoms, Krishna said. IBM’s CEO noted the company was among the first to update to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Act, further, helps limit harmful and illegal online content with a “reasonable care” requirement.

IBM also supports clear rules in trade agreements that protect the flow of data across international borders; “a goal that has enjoyed broad bipartisan support since the Obama administration,” Krishna noted.

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