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2018 Fly-In: BSA Talks AI, Data, and Workforce with Congressional Leaders

On Wednesday, board members and executives from BSA’s member companies met with Members of Congress to talk about policy priorities of importance to the software industry. These issues also affect the American economy as a whole, since every sector relies on software. Our delegation included representatives from ANSYS, Autodesk, Datastax, DocuSign, IBM, Informatica, Microsoft, Okta, SAS Institute, Siemens, Splunk, Trend Micro, and Workday.

The fly-in is a great opportunity to help educate policymakers about software’s $1 trillion economic impact and its many benefits. Meetings with lawmakers included Representatives Doug Collins, Joe Crowley, Will Hurd, Hakeem Jeffries, Jim Jordan, Nancy Pelosi, and Adam Schiff, and Senators Cory Gardner, Patty Murray, John Thune, and Todd Young.

During our meetings, Congressional leaders showed great interest in learning more about artificial intelligence (AI), particularly how it strengthens different industries by helping people make more effective decisions. We were pleased to meet with Senator Todd Young, one of the co-sponsors of the FUTURE of AI bill, which would establish a federal commission to explore the benefits and challenges of AI.

Discussions with Congressman Will Hurd focused on the OPEN Government Data Act, which would make non-sensitive data more open, available, and usable for the general public. This in turn could help facilitate AI innovation and other research initiatives.

We also had the opportunity to talk to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about the A Better Deal agenda, which prioritizes preparing the workforce of the future through retraining and STEM education. BSA released a workforce policy agenda last week advocating for government and industry to work together to help workers transition smoothly into software jobs and prepare the next generation.

We thank all of the Member of Congress we met with and we look forward to working with them on these critical issues in the months and years ahead.

Craig Albright

Author:

Craig Albright leads BSA's engagement with the US Congress.

Prior to joining BSA, he spent four years as the World Bank Group's Special Representative for the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, managing relations with government officials, private sector executives, think tank academics, civil society leaders and others. Before that, Albright spent more than 12 years in the US government. He served in the White House as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Legislative Affairs and Deputy Assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for Legislative Affairs. In Congress, his positions included Legislative Director and Chief of Staff for former Congressman Joe Knollenberg of Michigan and Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Kay Granger of Texas.

Albright is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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