February 7, 2020


Forbes Ex-Google Engineer And Silicon Valley Tech Money Behind Shadow, The App That Brought Chaos To The Iowa Caucus
The smartphone app that caused a major delay in reporting results during Iowa’s Democratic caucus is used by Democratic presidential candidates and funded by Silicon Valley veterans anxious to implement cutting-edge election technology to stymie a Trump re-election.

NBC West Virginia plans to make smartphone voting available to disabled people for 2020 election
West Virginia is moving to become the first state to allow people with disabilities to use technology that would allow them to vote with their smartphones in the 2020 election.


Agri Pulse FCC adopts $20.4B funding plan to boost rural broadband
Rural Americans are closer to receiving high-speed internet after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to move ahead with a $20.4 billion plan to boost broadband connectivity in underserved areas. The FCC voted Thursday to roll out the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

The Hill FCC proposes $13 million fine against man behind robocalls attacking Abrams, Gillum
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing a nearly $13 million fine against the man who allegedly arranged thousands of racist and discriminatory robocalls targeting political figures across the U.S., including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D).

Fast Company Pressure ramping up for Mitch McConnell to allow the Senate to discuss election security measures
As the Democratic primary season kicks off with Monday’s Iowa caucus, Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden is ramping up his Twitter campaign to get election security legislation considered in the Senate.


The Washington Post Amazon employees launch mass defiance of company communications policy in support of colleagues
More than 350 Amazon employees violated the e-commerce giant’s communications policy Sunday, in an unprecedented public display of support for colleagues who were warned they could be fired for speaking out to criticize the company’s climate practices.

Forbes EPIC Asks Federal Trade Commission To Regulate Use Of Artificial Intelligence In Pre-Employment Screenings
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has charged that HireVue, a leading provider of artificial intelligence-based pre-employment screenings, is flouting national and international standards of transparency, fairness and accountability.

Chemical and Engineering News Artificial intelligence finds drug that could fight Wuhan coronavirus
Just over a month after the first reports of a novel coronavirus spreading in China, researchers say they have used artificial intelligence to identify a drug already on the market that might limit the virus’s spread.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory STEM Education Is a Community Effort at Los Angeles-Area Elementary School
Over the past four years in the Education Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, I have had the good fortune to work with amazing educators and their students across Southern California. While it’s not always possible to visit schools in person, there are sometimes projects and curricula so unique that a visit is too hard to pass up.

Government Technology $15.5M Federal Broadband Project Could Help Louisiana Speeds
In an effort to bridge a gap in internet speeds between rural and urban communities, federal officials on Tuesday announced a $15.5 million project to expand high-speed connections in rural parishes west of Baton Rouge, La.

The Verge What the Iowa Caucus means for getting Iowa online
If you need to get online in Winterset, Iowa (population 5,200), you head to the library. Free Wi-Fi has been in place for a while, but starting this week, the library is lending out ten Sprint mobile hotspots in hardshell cases, prepped for students and residents who can’t count on connectivity otherwise.

Public News Service Nebraska Lawmakers Consider Speeding Up Rural Broadband Access
Nebraska lawmakers are scheduled to hear a bill next week designed to ramp up access to broadband internet in parts of the state still stuck at dial-up speeds. Johnathan Hladik, policy director with the Center for Rural Affairs, said broadband is an economic-development tool for small businesses in rural communities – one of the state’s key job creators.

K5 News Women in Cloud Summit at Microsoft helps female entrepreneurs in tech
Seattle is synonymous with technology. However, within that world, there is a small percentage of women who have been able to breakthrough as successful entrepreneurs. That’s why a special summit called Women in Cloud was created to inspire our sisters, mothers, and daughters.

Tahlequah Daily Press AICF receives grant to increase native women in STEM fields
Increasing access to women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields is vital for America to respond to today’s economic, infrastructure, and environmental challenges, according to researchers.

Cornell Sun Cornell Tech Program Part of $50 Million Investment to Expand Opportunities for Women in Tech

In an effort to boost the number of women in the tech industry, Cornell is trying to take its Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York program national. Supported by a $50 million investment from Melinda Gates’ firm Pivotal Ventures, and additional funds from the Cognizant U.S. Foundation and Verizon, WiTNY plans to expand outward and exert a national influence.


Information Technology Industry Council

  • Podcast on the future of tech companies.
    Fred Humphries, Corporate Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs at Microsoft, joins ITI’s Jason Oxman for a conversation that explores how the tech industry—and tech advocacy—has evolved over the last 20 years. The two delve into the concept of trust in tech, election security, Microsoft’s efforts to become carbon negative, and the top policy issues to look out for in the 2020s. (TechWonk Blog – Download On Tech: Microsoft’s Fred Humphries on Trust in Tech, Election Security, Top Policy Issues, and More, January 31, 2020)

Center for Strategic & International Studies

  • Blog on War Strategy and AI
    Can Artificial Intelligence Compensate for Strategic Shortcomings? To frame this question, we should first note that the United States has not won a war in more than 20 years (if we count Serbia as a “win”). Nor has it had an effective strategy. This is not a criticism of the military, but of its civilian leadership. Second, artificial intelligence (AI) is not good at developing strategy. Perhaps this will change as the technology matures, but we cannot expect AI alone to remedy our current weaknesses. AI is a vastly improved computing tool, but it cannot conceptualize and combine interests, goals, and means in ways that develop strategy. Strategy development remains a human function. (Analysis – Can Artificial Intelligence Compensate for Strategic Shortcomings?, January 30, 2020)

The Brookings Institute

  • Blog on Innovaotion Districts
    Last month, Robert D. Atkinson of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, together with our colleagues Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton, published a report calling for a renewed federal role in helping to balance the country’s growing geographic inequities. “The case for growth centers: How to spread tech innovation across America” carefully documents how and why the innovation economy—the driver of much of the nation’s growth—has become increasingly concentrated in a handful of coastal metropolitan areas, leaving much of the heartland struggling to keep pace. It also proposes a way for leaders in Washington, D.C. to boost lagging regions by selecting a small group of “growth center” metro areas (chosen via a competitive process) to receive a package of federal supports. (The Avenue – How investments in innovation districts can combat the country’s regional divides, January 23, 2020)

Note: Voices for Innovation regularly shares a range of opinion articles and press releases from organizations in and publications covering tech policy. These pieces are meant to educate our audience, not to endorse specific platforms or bills.