WASHINGTON— The United States must be the world leader in artificial intelligence to ensure the technological advances are underpinned by Western values, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said Thursday.

Speaking at the Hudson Institute, Kratsios said that “artificial intelligence is going to touch every industry in the United States. You will be using this technology to drive your business.”

“If the West does not lead, then we are essentially ceding this domain to other countries which have a set of values that are directly in conflict with ours,” Kratsios cautioned.

One of these countries is China. “China’s communist party is using artificial intelligence to track people in their country, imprison ethnic minorities, to push forward a complete surveillance state, to maintain a great Chinese firewall and essentially restrict online content the Chinese people have access to,” said Kratsios. “These are uses of artificial intelligence that are deeply in conflict with U.S. values.”

He explained that the White House’s first large summit on AI was intentionally titled “Artificial Intelligence for American Industry” to express the range of uses of AI across all industries.

“If the U.S. wants to lead the world in artificial intelligence, we need to make sure that all of these industries are able to capture the benefits that artificial intelligence can provide,” said Kratsios.

The federal government is focused on investing in early stage research and development. “The type of research that the federal government generally approaches is the type of research that the private sector is not incentivized to do on their own,” said Kratsios.

By filling this gap, Kratsios explained that the government is incentivizing a free market of ideas around innovation.

“In all the metrics, we continue to lead the world but the question is less about where we stack up today but more about how do we maintain that leadership,” said Kratsios.