The prime minister's choice to meet Elon Musk before meeting with the US president symbolizes a change of power in the world. Tech CEOs are as powerful today as leaders of countries, if not more.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife landed in San Jose // Roy Avraham GPO
When Musk joked that he was the unofficial president of the United States, it winked at the truth. Artificial intelligence, the most important technology since nuclear, is developing at a dizzying pace, and currently the most powerful models are in the hands of technology giants with resources, infrastructure and investment capabilities. If Musk flies to warn the Chinese government that artificial intelligence could threaten the regime, he's not just the CEO of a tech company.
Netanyahu was on the main stage, but missed an opportunity to bring news. Talk about assimilating an age-old Jewish ethics that the age of artificial intelligence needs. We are still David versus Goliath, and it is the duty of the state to lead in this field. But how does a small country fight the big ones? The battle for leadership in artificial intelligence will determine the future of Israeli security and economy. What the prime minister has not outlined is the strategy in this critical area.
Elon Musk. "Currently, the government is subsidizing a picantry of sectors and travel to Uman, instead of worrying about its future," Photo: Reuters
Musk may recognize Israel's smallness, agility and quality advantage, which could help him too. Perhaps a regulatory benefit. But Netanyahu did not talk about it, and did not outline a strategy. He did not explain how much the country intends to invest in powerful artificial intelligence models.
Whoever trains more engineers in the field and attracts entrepreneurs to the country will win. Artificial intelligence requires a lot of computing power, and it's expensive. A country that keeps computing flowing cheaply will win hugely. Those who prepare the next generation for employment in the age of artificial intelligence will be less affected by unemployment. Currently, the government subsidizes picantry of sectors and travel to Uman, rather than worrying about its future. The current priorities should keep us all asleep.
The high-tech protest in Tel Aviv. "The current order of priorities should keep us all asleep," Photo: Gideon Markowitz
The high-tech protest. "We will not stop and we will continue to take to the streets", photo: spokesperson for the high-tech workers' struggle
Netanyahu claimed to have opposed Levin's legal reform from the beginning. If so, let him speak Hebrew and bury the reform that causes division among the people, undermines stability and distances cooperation.
The attempt at reform has failed, and it is important to recognize this, to cut, and not to be dragged after yesterday's dreams. We are missing a historic opportunity to be at the forefront of technology, economics and values because of futile quarrels over reform. The New Age is advancing at a dizzying pace. We must move to strategy and bold actions.
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