January 17, 2020


Politico As 2020 field dwindles, tech’s biggest adversaries advance
The 2020 Democrats’ presidential field has shrunk by three candidates since their last debate, but tech’s harshest critics remain as hopefuls take the stage tonight in Iowa.

The Washington Post The Cybersecurity 202: Buttigieg’s cybersecurity adviser resigns right before Iowa caucuses
Mick Baccio, who served as former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg’s cybersecurity chief, has left the campaign citing “fundamental philosophical differences.” His departure comes just weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the kickoff to the 2020 primary season.


The Hill Tech industry rallies behind Google in Supreme Court fight
Google is garnering support from some of its toughest critics amid an upcoming Supreme Court battle with Oracle, pitting some of the tech industry’s most formidable heavyweights against the U.S. government in a fight with billions of dollars and the future of the software industry on the line.

Ars Technica FCC will pay ISPs to deploy broadband with 250GB monthly data cap
The Federal Communications Commission plans to grant a request from AT&T and other ISPs to make more rural-broadband funding available for slower-speed services with lower data caps.


Bloomberg Microsoft’s President Says U.S.-China Divisions Risk Tech ‘Cold War’
Microsoft Corp. gets just 1.8% of its global sales from China, even though the country accounts for about 18% of the world’s population, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said, noting that tensions between the two largest economies risk creating a technology “cold war.”

BBC News Google’s announced timeline for new privacy policy
Cookies track users’ internet activity and allow digital publishers to target advertising. Tech firms have faced pressure to increase privacy protections amid mounting data breaches. But analysts say the move gives Google more control over the digital ad market where it is already a major player.

State Scoop Facial-recognition ban in Cambridge, Mass., marks a trend
As Congress debates whether to declare a national moratorium on government use of facial recognition, a growing cohort of communities in Massachusetts are taking steps to regulate the technology themselves. Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Tuesday became the third Boston suburb to prohibit public use of the biometric technology, following Somerville and Brookline, which passed ordinances in 2019.

ABC 7 News Tech company utilizes cars to measure air quality across Bay Area
On Tuesday, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced that it’s partnering with Aclima, to launch a fleet of mobile air quality testing vehicles. The goal is a hyperlocal look at air quality in neighborhoods across all nine Bay Area counties. Local officials say the data will be critical as it fights the Trump administration over air quality standards.

Digital Trends Where’s the green? CES 2020 was surprisingly low on environmental tech
Oftentimes the most insightful part of CES isn’t what was on the show floor — it’s what was missing from it. The convention draws exhibitors from all over the globe, and it’s stuffed with just about every type of technology you can imagine. But for the past few years (and in particular in 2020), one particular category of tech has been notably hidden at the show: Environmental tech.

Forbes How AI Is Revolutionizing Health Care
The market value of AI in the health care industry is predicted to reach $6.6 billion by 2021. Artificial intelligence is increasingly growing in popularity throughout various industries. Most of us associate AI with things like robots, Alexa and self-driving cars. But AI is a lot more than that. AI experts see it as a revolutionary technology that could benefit many industries.

Live Science World’s First ‘Living Machine’ Created Using Frog Cells and Artificial Intelligence
What happens when you take cells from frog embryos and grow them into new organisms that were “evolved” by algorithms? You get something that researchers are calling the world’s first “living machine.” Though the original stem cells came from frogs — the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis — these so-called xenobots don’t resemble any known amphibians.

Forbes The Dark Side Of Deepfake Artificial Intelligence And Virtual Influencers
There’s an emerging technology that is starting to gain traction in the tech world. Already featured in most major media networks, the role of deepfake artificial intelligence and virtual influencer (VI) touches on a variety of legal and ethical concerns that the business community should take notice of.

MIT Technology Review An algorithm that learns through rewards may show how our brain does too
In 1951, Marvin Minsky, then a student at Harvard, borrowed observations from animal behavior to try to design an intelligent machine. Drawing on the work of physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who famously used dogs to show how animals learn through punishments and rewards, Minsky created a computer that could continuously learn through similar reinforcement to solve a virtual maze.

Government Technology L.A. County Takes a Shot at Correcting IT’s Gender Imbalance
Officials in Los Angeles County are making a substantial push to train and recruit more women into the gov tech workforce with the help of a new directive passed by the Board of Supervisors. The Women in Tech (WIT) hiring initiative seeks to rectify the gender imbalance within the large regional government.

Freedom to Tinker Improving Protections for Children’s Privacy Online
CITP’s Tech Policy Clinic submitted a Comment to the Federal Trade Commission in connection with its review of the COPPA Rule to protect children’s privacy online. Our Comment explains why it is important to update the COPPA Rule to keep it current with new privacy risks, especially as children spend increasing amounts of time online on a variety of connected devices.

EdWeek Market Brief The Struggle to Make Games Accessible to Special-Needs Students
Though many ed-tech companies say they’re committed to making their products accessible, vendors who design games often have little understanding of what it takes to serve special-needs students. That was one of the themes that emerged at the recent ED Games Expo, a yearly showcase of government-sponsored learning games and tech, which draws companies from around the country.

Multichannel News FCC ID’s State-by-State Rural Broadband Fund Breakdown
The FCC has identified a state-by-state breakdown of where the six million homes are that it says would get subsidized broadband through the majority of the new, $20 billion, Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. California has the most with 421 locations, while Wyoming has the least with only 21. That makes sense since California is the nation’s most populated state, and Wyoming its least.

Nevada Appeal USDA announces second round of rural high-speed broadband funding
Approximately $550 million in funding for rural high-speed broadband projects under round two of the Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) is set to open Jan. 31, announced U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.


The Brookings Institution

Blog on Automation and the Economy
Progress in industrial robotics and information technologies has meant that advanced economies have experienced a significant drop in the fraction of the population employed in middle wage, “routine task-intensive”occupations. Applying machine learning techniques, we identify the types of individuals who would otherwise be employed in such occupations, if not for advances in automation technology, and track their labor market outcomes. Based on these findings, we develop a quantitative, heterogeneous agent, general equilibrium model of labor force participation, occupational choice, and capital investment to study the aggregate and distributional effects of advancing automation. (Research – The macroeconomics of automation: Data, theory, and policy analysis, January 14, 2020)


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