State leaders discuss artificial intelligence developments

New Mexico

New Mexico has a long legacy of high tech projects coming out of our national labs. Now, tech experts from around the state are brainstorming ways to keep New Mexico at the forefront of developing the next wave of technological advances.

Leaders say New Mexico has the potential to lead the charge in artificial intelligence—from military defense to health care and agriculture.

“A-I is going to touch every portion of our lives. It’s going to affect the kinds of foods we buy, what we put into our body, how medicine works, how we find information, how we educate our children,” says Mark Johnson. 

Johnson, co-founder of satellite imagery company Descartes Labs in Santa Fe, says over the next decade artificial intelligence will fundamentally change how we live. He believes New Mexico should be at the forefront of the technological revolution.

“New Mexico can lead in A-I. I could have put my company anywhere…We decided to not just found the company in New Mexico, but stay in New Mexico because we believe we have the resources here,” Johnson says. 

Thursday, Senator Martin Heinrich invited leaders from tech companies, universities, and labs to discuss A-I development. This, after he introduced an act earlier this month that would invest more than $2 billion in the technology.

“Really, implementation, those partnerships that are being built between our universities and the national labs, also making sure we set the conditions for the success of emerging businesses,” Heinrich says. 

Johnson says we are in the early stages, but A-I is already here. 

“We all interact with things like Siri, Gmail is starting to complete my sentences for me, and those are the beginnings of seeing A-I in the real world,” Johnson says. 

Leaders say along with collaboration, there needs to be an effort to introduce A-I to K through 12th grade students and pique interest early 

The proposed act would require the armed forces to establish more career tracks focused on A-I development by January 2022. 

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