Hanson Robotics's Sophia the Robot shows facial expressions on the third day of the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 7. (Jose Sena Goulao/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Regarding David Igantius’s Nov. 7 op-ed, “Wanted: A leader to help America win the AI race”:

Although artificial intelligence research and development is important to pursue, it would perhaps be beneficial to consider the previous “AI scare” — of the 1980s. Then, the boogeyman was Japan, which was going to take over the world via its large “Fifth Generation” government program. That program did not succeed in achieving its goals, though improvements in “components” (e.g., vision, sensors, manipulators, etc.) did result from it. In fact, the entire field of AI research changed directions in that era.

Patrick Purtell, Cabin John