In October 2020, Microsoft launched its Journalism Initiative to support local journalism, which is fundamental for strong democracies worldwide. This effort has included programs to defend journalists and leverage tech to strengthen newsrooms and combat misinformation.
Building on the company’s commitments to sustainable journalism, this week Microsoft announced a series of collaborations with news organizations to leverage the power of AI to support reporting and the business operations of media outlets. Partners in these collaborations include Semafor, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, the Online News Association, the GroundTruth Project, and Nota. You can learn more in this Microsoft on the Issues blog.
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This Week in Washington
- Broadband Breakfast and StateScoop: In letters to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Commerce Committees, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel provided each lawmaker with Affordable Connectivity Program enrollment data and reminded them that the FCC would be freezing enrollment to the ACP on February 8. Some members of Congress are pushing for an extension of the crucial program.
- Reuters: U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says the department will begin awarding funds to boost semiconductor production from the government’s $39 billion program for manufacturing chips in the United States, aimed at building next-generation factories and increasing production.
- FedScoop: National Economic Council adviser Elizabeth Kelly is set to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)’s AI safety group, the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute (USAISI).
- Nextgov/FCW: The FCC issued a cease-and-desist order to Lingo Telecom for the company’s alleged role in originating AI-generated robocalls impersonating President Biden that were being used to deceive voters during New Hampshire’s recent presidential primary election.
- Associated Press: The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency launched a program to boost election security in the U.S., hoping to assure voters hitting the polls in this year’s election cycle.
- Microsoft: Microsoft announced their new ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA initiative, which aims to equip 2 million people in India with AI skills by 2025. This news initiative is a part of Microsoft’s Skills for Jobs program and will focus on training people in “Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, as well as rural areas, enabling them to participate in the new era of AI and unlock inclusive socio-economic progress.”
- Axios: To curb the mental health impacts that social media can have on young people, Colorado lawmakers have introduced a new bipartisan bill that would require their education department to create a resource bank for K-12 students with information on the harms of excessive screen time.
- The Guardian: A group of scholars utilized AI to translate a scroll damaged by heat, ash, and pumice when Vesuvius erupted in AD 79.
- The Wall Street Journal: Chip manufacturers are using generative AI to accelerate the design and production process of semiconductors, as the need for more advanced chips grows.
The Wall Street Journal
- Tech News Briefing
New York is one of the latest states attempting to rein in social media platforms in the wake of federal inaction. State officials are considering a proposal that would restrict the use of algorithms on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and X for teen users. WSJ reporter Jimmy Vielkind tells host Alex Ossola how the law would work, and what effects it could have beyond New York. (How a State Law Could Block Social Media Algorithms for Teens – February 7, 2024)