CES defends choosing Ivanka Trump for keynote

After the CES show, kicking off Tuesday in Las Vegas, drew criticism for tapping Ivanka Trump as a keynote speaker, the show's head defended his choice on a Facebook thread, citing the first daughter’s “compelling views” on a range of topics from AI and workforce training to advocacy for entrepreneurship and the advancement of women in the workplace.

“When I met with her in the White House and I described my recent book on the great things the shift to AI, self driving and other technologies will allow, she challenged me that all this great technology is also causing millions of ordinary Americans unease about the future of their jobs. She said our industry should do something about it and she challenged us and others to hire and reskill Americans to commit to training and hiring Americans,” Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro wrote on a Facebook thread. “For me, this was an epiphany. I took it seriously as did our members. Thus the big commitments by companies on new jobs and reskilling. And the paperback version of my book has a new chapter on this subject.”

While critics questioned her relevance to the tech industry and contended that her selection had more to do with her famous father, Shapiro noted “she created and co-chairs a special group of tech and business leaders who are focused on jobs,” pointed out that she, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., picked up the Internet Association’s highest award, and claimed that “the CES focus on and commitment to entrepreneurs and 1300+ entrepreneurs exhibiting in Eureka Park makes Ivanka Trump and Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross logical CES government representatives.”

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