As many as 4,500 companies will exhibit new technologies, including airlines, automakers, battery manufacturers and hundreds of tech start-ups, during the annual technology gathering in Las Vegas
The event, which runs from Jan. 7-10, draws more than 175,000 visitors along with more than 150 other government officials from the United States and around the world. The American government officials are likely to talk about tech policy at the conference.
US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, and US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios will be among officials who will attend the annual tech industry event.
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In prior years, the event has drawn fewer senior US officials, typically just one cabinet official, and did not draw any in 2019 because of a government shutdown. The White House has touted technology improvements as a way to boost US employment and is working to ease regulatory barriers to advanced technologies like drones and self-driving cars.
At the same time, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are probing whether big tech firms like Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon and Apple are violating antitrust laws. The largest tech firms generally skip CES in favour of holding their own events.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons will speak at a fireside chat, and three of the other four FCC commissioners will attend as will two other FTC commissioners.
Ajit Pai has proposed shifting part of a block spectrum set aside for auto safety to accommodate the rapidly growing number of wireless devices. Numerous companies are displaying new wireless devices at the gathering. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is expected to talk about self-driving car policies.
Elena Hernandez, the spokeswoman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said that CTO Michael Kratsios will be at CES to discuss the administration’s national strategy for artificial intelligence launched in 2018.
“Recognizing the significance of technology on the American workforce, our national security, and the US economy, the Trump administration continues to make leadership in the cutting-edge industries of the future a top priority,” the spokeswoman said.
President Donald Trump, who has had strained relations with technology companies and criticized several major firms for alleged bias against conservatives, has met repeatedly with major tech company CEOs since taking office, including meetings in 2019 with chief executives of Facebook, Apple, and Google.