Letter from the Executive Director: The Beginning of the Beginning

When we started our journey two years ago, little did we know what was in front of us. What we encountered was willingness and hope among many friends and allies to get our mission from Congress right to maintain the United States’ advantage in artificial intelligence (AI).

We enjoyed support from U.S. Departments and Agencies. Many of them loaned us resources, including detailing both civilian and military personnel, and dedicated countless hours to help us understand their missions and priorities. Members of Congress and congressional staff worked closely with us to accelerate our government’s adoption of AI for national security purposes.

Over the course of the Commission’s work, we engaged with hundreds of representatives from the private sector, academia, civil society, and across the government. We received countless briefings—classified and unclassified. We met with anyone who thinks about AI, works with AI, and develops AI who was willing to make time for us.

We found consensus among nearly all of our partners on three points: the conviction that AI is an enormously powerful technology, acknowledgement of the urgency to invest more in AI innovation, and responsibility to develop and use AI guided by democratic principles. We also talked to our allies—old and new. From New Delhi to Tel Aviv to London, there was a willingness and desire to work with the United States to deepen cooperation on AI.

I am indebted to the many individuals who volunteered with us, interned with us, provided expertise, and were friends of the Commission. I am particularly grateful to the dedicated full-time staff of the Commission, who in many cases stepped away from important jobs to join this essential mission.

In the last two years, we encountered widespread hope that AI could generate incredible benefits for our nation’s economy, welfare, and security. We also heard concern that AI—like any technology—could create new challenges and exacerbate existing problems. We listened and took those concerns seriously.

We ultimately came away with a recognition that if America embraces and invests in AI based on our values, it will transform our country and ensure that the United States and its allies continue to shape the world for the good of all humankind.

Thank you!

Yll Bajraktari