San Jose mayor doubles down on AI tech push, eyes SJSU innovation lab

SAN JOSE — San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan doubled down on his fledgling initiative to spur the growth of artificial intelligence hubs in the Bay Area’s largest city by revealing this week fresh plans for cutting-edge AI endeavors.

Mayor Mahan gave a keynote address at the new Adobe Systems Founders Tower in downtown San Jose to kick off what was billed as the 2023 San Jose Global Innovation Summit.

While multiple American cities are scrambling to brand themselves as the “capital of AI,” Mahan is betting that San Jose actually can grab a big chunk of this cutting-edge tech pie.

“We want San Jose to certainly be a capital in AI innovation,” Mahan said during a speech at the innovation summit on Thursday.

On Oct. 10, Mahan and Councilmember David Cohen released a memo that the two political leaders hope will sketch out a game plan for San Jose to attract artificial intelligence hubs to their city.

The plans include discounts on utility costs as well as a speedy permitting process for AI firms, incubators and initiatives.

“We are having discussions to bring incubators and accelerators into our downtown to take advantage of the fact that we have 36,000 students at San Jose State and the technical talent there,” Mahan said.

The mayor also announced that San Jose State University may be poised to play a key role in raising the city’s profile for artificial intelligence and tech overall.

“One thing we are talking to San Jose State about is to actually build an innovation lab on campus,” Mahan said. “This would enable students to begin to experiment, and prototype and test in a safe and cost-effective way, new concepts for companies while they are still students.”

Gary Dillabough, a tech entrepreneur and real estate executive, is also pursuing efforts to help an artificial intelligence incubator sprout in downtown San Jose.

“We are talking with a potential partner to bring 40 or 50 AI startups to downtown San Jose,” Dillabough said during a discussion in September about how to spur economic activity in the city’s urban heart.

These fledgling efforts could strengthen the city’s urban core. Dillabough said in an interview on Thursday with this news organization that he’s encouraged by the mayor’s efforts.

“Our hope is to create an extraordinary AI Center of Excellence,” Dillabough said. “I don’t think there is a better place in the U.S. to make this happen.”

Dillabough said it makes sense to have city leaders, business officials and tech executives working in various ways to bring tech and AI incubators into downtown San Jose.

“When the private sector starts to get into lockstep with the public sector, it can unleash some very powerful opportunities,” Dillabough said.

The mayor is also pondering some practical applications for AI that can be used in San Jose. Advanced technologies could help the city combat potholes and water leaks, for instance.

He noted during his keynote presentation that some tech companies want to work with the city to add cameras to city vehicles. Tech systems and artificial intelligence could capture data from the cameras about where potholes and water leaks are occurring.

“We want to be looking at what’s next,” Mahan said. “What is going to be disruptive? What is going to bring change? This is why we are looking at incentives and the partnership with our city university. We want to be the place where it happens.” San Jose mayor doubles down on AI tech push, eyes SJSU innovation lab

Exit mobile version