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Technology and Science

"We must harness the powerful new forces of technology, and use them to strengthen our oldest values -- to promote freedom, to educate our children, and to lift our families and our nations up."

- Al Gore

Gore with child
For decades, Al Gore has worked to lead America into the Information Age by focusing on crucial technological challenges for the 21st Century: targeted investments in new technology to create jobs and economic growth; harnessing new technology to improve the delivery of health care, education, and basic government services across America; and making sure that as we invest in the newest technology, we also maintain and strengthen our oldest values, such as privacy and the ability of parents to protect their children from inappropriate content on-line.

Pioneering leadership:

Since his days in the House and Senate, Gore has been an early leader on cutting-edge technological issues. As a member of Congress, he popularized the term "information superhighway," and he later introduced legislation to invest in the research networks that led to today's Internet. In 1984, he introduced early legislation to help develop high-quality educational software.

Creating jobs through investments in new technology:

As Vice President, Gore has been a leader in fighting for targeted investments that make our economy more innovative and create high-paying jobs. He has worked to promote the explosive growth of global electronic commerce -- which is expected to grow to more than $300 billion in just a few years and triple the number of people who can support their families because they can reach world markets through the Internet. He has fought for targeted tax credits for research and development, and long-term information technology research, to help create the jobs of the 21st Century. He worked to support the development of the Next Generation Internet, moving 1,000 times faster than today's, which holds the potential to revolutionize many industries.

Improving health care, education, and basic services through technology:

Al Gore has also focused on using new technology to improve people's lives. Together with President Clinton, he set a national goal of connecting every classroom and library in the United States to the Internet -- and fought for the passage of deep discounts to make Internet access affordable for the every school and library in the nation. Already, we are halfway toward achieving that goal. Al Gore is working toward a 21st Century where a child can reach across a computer keyboard and read any book ever written, see any painting ever painted, and hear any symphony ever composed.

Al Gore has worked to expand such innovations as distance learning and telemedicine -- to make health care and education more accessible to rural and hard-to-reach communities, and to the homebound. Through his Reinventing Government initiative, Gore has also put critical government services on-line -- so services such as help in starting small businesses and information about job training are available where they are more accessible to all.

To expand technology's worldwide potential as a force for good, Al Gore has advanced a bold vision for a new Global Information Infrastructure -- a network of networks that sends messages and images at the speed of light, across every continent -- to expand access to phone service and communications, further improve the delivery of education and health care, and create new jobs and industries.

Technology and values -- the Electronic Bill of Rights:

Throughout his career, Al Gore has realized that as our science and technology advance -- sometimes faster than we can even comprehend -- we must work especially hard to protect our oldest and most cherished values. That is why, while supporting the completion of the Human Genome Project, he has also championed legislation to ban genetic discrimination. While fighting to expand Internet access, he has led the Administration's efforts to give parents, schools, and communities effective tools to protect children from inappropriate content on-line.

In particular, Al Gore has focused on the challenge of protecting personal privacy on-line -- the medical and financial information that can too easily be intercepted and abused by others. That is why he has called for an Electronic Bill of Rights for this electronic age. It includes the right to choose whether personal information is disclosed; the right to know how, when, and how much of that information is being used; the right to see it yourself; and the right to know if it's accurate.

"More than any other time in our history," says Gore, "the promise of new discovery and new technology has made it possible to renew and strengthen our oldest and most cherished values. As we move into a new century and a new millennium, let us take that same sense of wonder, that same sense of discovery, and that same sense of courage to make real the values that more than twenty centuries of human evolution have aspired to create -- to promote freedom, to educate our children, and to lift our families and our nations up."

Click here to read Al Gore's commencement address at NYU.

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