A Discussion of Congress’s Role in Fostering AI Innovation

Earlier this week, the Washington Post published a thoughtful editorial (registration may be required) calling on Congress to provide a temporary liability haven to new AI models, similar to the Section 230 protections that helped spur the development of the internet. The editorial acknowledges the shortcomings of Section 230, but argues that, “[AI] products can’t hope to offer a vast variety of answers on a vast variety of subjects, in a vast variety of applications—which is what we should want them to do—without legal protections.”

It’s a fair bet that this editorial was read by many legislators and staff on Capitol Hill. It’s one more part of the discussion about AI happening in policy circles in Washington and around the world.

Thank you for reading. Now here’s our roundup of tech policy news for the week and a featured podcast.

This Week in Washington 

  • Nextgov: CISA has emphasized the need for continued vigilance when it comes to the upcoming 2024 election as threats from foreign and domestic actors loom.

  • The Washington Post: The House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee will hear testimony regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of CISA. This is the first hearing since Republicans took power and will address concerns that the agency will play a major role in future regulation discussions.

  • Axios: With U.S. lawmakers looking to ban TikTok nationwide over national security fears, CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify before Congress and claim that banning the app will ultimately hurt the nation’s small businesses and economy, according to released remarks prepared for his testimony.

  • StateScoop: With states facing gaps in the cybersecurity workforce, the National Association of State Chief Information and National Governors Association released a report detailing steps to help fill the gaps.

  • Telecompetitor: Concerns over how soon the FCC’s National Broadband Map will be ready, and how accurate it will be, has created a challenge for states as they begin to make plans for awarding Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program funds. Each state must decide the best course for identifying underserved areas.

  • Boundless: As layoffs have rocked the tech world and the U.S., President Biden has stepped in to assist H1-B visa holders by extending their grace period to find new employment from 60 to 180 days. 

Article Summary

  • The Verge and Semafor: Microsoft is continuing to gradually integrate AI into their products. They recently rolled out Copilot in office 365, their latest AI assistant that will be in Office products like Word and Excel. Google has also added AI to their consumer-facing productivity tools; both companies efforts’ are detailed here.

  • Axios: School districts across the nation have been filing lawsuits against tech companies that operate social media networks and apps, which some claim could be contributing to a mental health crisis among young people.

  • Telecompetitor: Amdoc and Dynata released a internet satisfaction report in which they found that many consider internet accessibility as a necessity and 89% of respondents are satisfied with their service. 

Featured Podcast

Wall Street Journal

  • Tech News Update
    Chipmaker Micron will have to overcome a massive shortage of skilled workers in order to open its planned semiconductor-manufacturing campus in the suburbs of Syracuse, N.Y. WSJ reporter Joseph De Avila joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss how the company is dealing with the shortage and what it says about the Biden administration’s goal of increasing chipmaking in the U.S. (Skilled Workers Shortage Threatens Biden’s Plans For U.S. Chipmaking  – March 21, 2023)