We stand on the brink of amazing advances that will deliver 5G broadband, personalized medicine, robotics and other innovations to improve our lives. Every day, we get closer to realizing the life-changing potential of emerging technologies such as digital health, smart cities and self-driving vehicles. Technology is helping to solve big problems using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
But after more than 12 years of economic expansion, we are experiencing a black swan event – a global viral outbreak, supply-chain disruption and travel restrictions causing an economic crisis and the cancellation of global events. As COVID-19 spreads across the world, telemedicine is increasingly being used to monitor patients at home underscoring the importance of virtual care using remote access to medical services. Although many of us are still home-bound, technology is keeping us connected as we use Slack, Zoom and other technologies.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® is the tech industry’s leading trade association. Our member companies are providing the tech solutions to keep patients healthy, treat the ill and keep the public informed, connected, entertained and stocked with food supplies. Digital health innovations are improving how we care for the sick, communicate critical information and prevent the spread of infection. CTA is also committed to providing resources to our members, the public and lawmakers to address the effects of the outbreak effectively and efficiently.
Despite the current environment, the 2020s will be full of both opportunities and challenges. New business models, socially conscious consumers and the promise of technology may clash with those seeking to preserve past jobs. Our challenge will be to ensure the world receives the benefits of innovation. Think, healthier and safer lives. The empowering of the elderly and the disabled. Education that fits individual needs. And new forms of energy and transportation that save the environment, keep us mobile and provisioned, and enhance our world.
Leading in innovation must be our national strategy. It not only creates jobs, but it also spreads our culture around the world. For innovation to flourish, we need fair and flexible government policies. Federal leaders must partner with industry executives to develop a uniform, national framework that values privacy and encourages economic growth and innovation, while safeguarding consumers’ choices.
We need strategic immigration reforms that encourage foreign-born entrepreneurs and U.S.-educated immigrants to remain in America to build businesses. CTA has always been a free trade advocate. We oppose tariffs and believe trade wars cannot be won. However, we support the Administration's efforts to deal with the challenges of IP theft in China. The West and China have different views on freedom (of religion, speech, voting and accessing the internet). Layer this on top of our economic competition focused on developing technologies including AI, 5G, self-driving vehicles, robotics and biotechnology, and the bipartisan support for a firmer strategy with China is strong. We also need privacy laws that give consumers confidence and companies clear standards that enable them to offer life-changing products and services to continue to lead in innovation.
To help ensure the tech sector remains key to America’s success, and solve the looming shortage of skilled workers, the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition provides frameworks for careers in fields including software engineering, data analytics and cybersecurity. CTA members are committed to reskilling millions of American workers in the next few years, signing on to Ivanka Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers initiative. Other programs such as the veteran-hiring U.S. Tech Vets platform, can also harness a skilled base of employees. And CTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group shares best practices, addresses business challenges and develops strategies to create a diverse and inclusive tech sector.
Today, every company is a tech company. And CES is the most important tech event in the world. At CTA, our mission is to grow the industry and we do this by highlighting different role models, voices and experiences. Each year, CES celebrates global business leaders, engineers, inventors and entrepreneurs that are using technology in unexpected ways to achieve solutions to big world problems. At CES 2020, thousands of exhibitors showcased innovations in areas ranging from AI to smart homes to virtual and augmented reality. Eureka Park, the largest startup event on the planet, gives entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to showcase a new product, service or idea to buyers, investors and the media. Eureka Park exhibitors have received over $1.5 billion in funding since 2012.
Leading CMOs, content creators and key media players are represented at C Space. CES also draws policymakers at the local, national and international levels to understand the latest tech trends as they work to create a regulatory environment where ingenuity can thrive.
Amazing technologies are in the works to make us healthier, extend our lives, reduce car accidents and transform agriculture, education and transportation. Advances in digital therapeutics and remote patient monitoring are addressing issues such as opioid dependence, mental illness and chronic disease. Technology can connect us, help us and heal us like never before. AI, quantum technology, virtual reality and new digital health technologies may help to take down diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, and hopefully COVID-19 – and cut our skyrocketing health care costs.
The self-driving vehicles of tomorrow will be sophisticated robots, equipped with sensors that provide real-time information to assist decision-making in critical situations. Self-driving vehicles will boost productivity, save money by cutting the cost of insurance, increase fuel efficiency and eliminate traffic jams.
As the pace of change accelerates, tech has the power to improve lives for our children and forge a stronger future for our nation. As your industry representative, CTA strives to provide value for our member companies. Innovation carries the promise of a better world when we work together.
President and COO
Sony Electronics Inc.
President and CEO
Consumer Technology Association
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