White House to huddle with tech executives on future of jobs

Politics

FILE PHOTO: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures to members of the news media as he exits after meeting with U.S. President-elect DonaldTrump at Trump Tower in New York, December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration, which has had strained relations with technology companies, is meeting Thursday with top tech executives to discuss innovation and the future of jobs.

Chief executive officers expected to participate include Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella, Alphabet Inc’s Sundar Pichai, Qualcomm Inc’s Steven Mollenkopf and Oracle Corp’s Safra Catz, the White House said.

The “internal working session” will focus on artificial intelligence, quantum computing and next-generation 5G wireless communications. “We would like their bold ideas to ensure American dominance” on AI, 5G, quantum computing and advanced manufacturing, a senior White House official said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, will be at the session, which is closed to the press, unlike previous sessions with CEOs.

The White House said it wants to ease regulatory barriers to advanced technologies like drones. President Donald Trump in October signed a presidential memorandum directing the Commerce Department to develop a long-term comprehensive national spectrum strategy for mobile technology 5G.

In May, the Trump administration said it would not stand in the way of developing of artificial intelligence (AI), while acknowledging the burgeoning technology will lead to job losses.

AI and deep machine learning have raised concerns about whether machines will control man, privacy, cybersecurity as well as the future of work, companies and experts say.

Trump has had several run-ins with technology companies since he took office, including his accusations, without evidence, of bias by Google and Facebook Inc, and Twitter Inc “trying to silence” people. He has also criticized Amazon.com Inc for paying too little to the U.S. Postal Service for shipping packages.

Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing with Pichai to discuss Republican allegations of bias against conservatives, a charge Google has denied.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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