In the first days of the war in Ukraine, the world’s largest aircraft—the Ukrainian-built Antonov An-225 “Mriya” cargo plane—was destroyed. Only one Mriya was ever built—so its destruction represents an especially sad milestone in aviation history. Fortunately, efforts are underway to raise funds to rebuild the aircraft.
To honor the aircraft and support its rebuilding, one year after its destruction, Microsoft released a virtual version of the Mriya for the Microsoft Flight Simulator, which can be played on a variety of devices. All proceeds will go toward the fund to rebuild the aircraft.
Thank you for continuing to follow tech policy developments. Our news roundup is below, along with a podcast that’s worth a listen.
This Week in Washington
- POLITICO: The Biden administration’s new national cyber strategy, unveiled this week, will pursue a policy of more aggressive regulation to secure critical systems like banks, electric utilities and hospitals against cyberattacks – a break from two decades of efforts to get companies in critical sectors to voluntarily strengthen their cybersecurity.
- Nextgov: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly said during a speech at Carnegie Mellon University that technology companies need to take more responsibility for the safety and security of their products to better protect consumers from cyber threats.
- Axios: The White House and the European Commission held their first meeting to jumpstart a transatlantic AI research initiative aimed at both speeding up AI development and determining what regulations, if any, are needed, a senior administration official told Axios.
- MIT Technology Review: The U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases, both filed by the families of people killed in ISIS terrorist attacks, that both argue Google and Twitter violated the law by aiding terrorist recruitment on their platforms. Decisions in the two cases relating to recommendation algorithms and content moderation, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamnehlaw, could reshape how the web works.
- Axios: Axios presents a roundup of tech policy battles playing out in U.S. federal and state courts, as judges and courts make lasting decisions – often in the absence of new laws written by Congress or state legislatures.
- POLITICO: The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted along party lines to advance legislation focused on banning TikTok and sanctioning companies on a wide swath of companies that do business with Chinese companies.
- FedScoop: The Biden administration has appointed UC Berkley law professor Deirdre Mulligan as deputy United States chief technology officer for policy. In the role, she will work to ensure that U.S. government policy is informed by tech and data expertise and will also act as a principal adviser to the National AI Initiative Office.
- CBS News: The Biden administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides low-cost, high-speed internet to individuals who lack access or for whom the cost is too high, but many Americans don’t know that they could be eligible.
- Reuters: Microsoft is expected to secure EU antitrust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of Activision with its offer of licensing deals to rivals, helping it to clear a major hurdle.
- Stanford News: Researchers at Stanford University have tapped artificial intelligence to produce a profoundly more accurate model of brain injuries and believe that their approach could reveal a more definitive understanding of when and why concussion sometimes leads to lasting brain damage, and other times not.
- WIRED: The U.S. still leads the world in artificial intelligence, but there are signs it is losing its edge to China in other areas of advanced computing.
- New York Times: Many people are scared of the idea that AI could replace jobs in the future, but we may be missing a more urgent point: ChatGPT is changing how people work.
- Reuters: An American computer scientist urged the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court to rule he is entitled to patents over inventions created by his artificial intelligence system, in a landmark case about whether AI can own patent rights.
- Marketplace Tech Podcast
The Urban Institute found that people with disabilities are less likely to have internet access than people who are not disabled. (The broadband gap leaves behind people with disabilities, study finds – March 1, 2023)