I mentioned the other day the fact the U.S. is behind many other countries in developing a broad national strategy to support adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). The World Economic Forum is making this shortcoming in the U.S. approach even more clear by recommending countries establish national 'centers of excellence' for AI - and then pointing out many countries are already doing this. The development of AI should not be left largely to the private sector - the public sector should actually LEAD, not just be a participant.

This article outlines briefly 3 reasons for having a center of excellence and what sorts of activities it would undertake. It also gives a brief summary of those that already exist in the UK, Singapore, India, Canada, Malta and Denmark. 

While there are certainly talented people in the U.S. working on AI and many very promising things happening, there is not yet broad support and understanding of what it all means and broad discussion about how we can use it to make society dramatically better. A national center of excellence network will not fill this gap all by itself, but it can certainly be a great focal point.