San Jose Moves to Capitalize on Growing AI Opportunities

Local officials are responding quickly to identify new opportunities to use artificial intelligence and to stimulate AI development among Silicon Valley companies.

Mayor Matt Mahan today was the latest political leader to jump on the AI bandwagon, announcing with Councilmember David Cohen and Silicon Valley leaders a new initiative “to explore incentives to attract AI companies to San Jose.”

The city – mindful of a predicted twentyfold growth of the AI industry by 2030 – will be taking a look at discounted utility rates and expedited permitting processes, according to a memo released today.

The announcement leverages the mayor’s technology background—he’s the first mayor of Silicon Valley’s largest city who has been a high tech CEO—and the city’s proximity to major universities, technology firms and venture capital.

Calling artificial intelligence the technology of tomorrow, Mahan said his office is exploring the possibility of a downtown incubator or accelerator for AI startups.

Mahan said he wants to encourage innovators “to explore AI solutions to civil problems like traffic safety, accountability and transportation.”

He said his goal is to position San Jose as “a leader in the AI landscape and make it easier for companies to call the city home.”

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of  announcements by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and Gov. Gavin Newsom last month to adopt new AI policies and incentives.

The Santa Cruz supervisors encouraged the continued use of artificial intelligence in county government operations while providing guidelines to avoid misuse and the sharing of sensitive information. The governor issued an executive order to study the development, use, and risks of AI technology throughout the state and to develop a process for evaluating deployment of AI within state government.

Dan Pulcrano contributed to this report.

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


  1. Waste of time. And, adding more very high paying tech sector jobs to San Jose/Bay Area just throws gasoline on the high cost of living fore, which is really the root of the affordability crisis (i.e., high-paid workers willing to pay $2 million for a 900 sq ft single family home in Sunnyvale) – along with terrible economic policy (state) and poor leadership.

    Invest the time and resources into supporting the many small businesses still struggling from the horrible decisions the county/city made during and after the pandemic. Do something that matters.

  2. It’s tempting to delve into the local problems again, but the bigger picture aspect is, this is more overreaction to (and hype about) AI today (versus in the 1980s), which includes its perceived future explosive magical instantaneous growth for business.

  3. I think we should replace all humans in government with A.I. as Inteligent’s has been breed out of the human population in California, New York, Illinois both Washingtons and Oregon.

  4. To that list of states add New Jersey and Connecticut plus Maryland, whose people in charge often like to imitate NY-NJ-CT nowadays. Michigan is a mixed case.

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