Welcome back from what we hope was a restorative Labor Day long weekend. Congress is back to work, and we’ll continue to keep you informed as they and state lawmakers consider legislation that may impact technology companies, business customers, and consumers.
We’re pleased to announce that Voices for Innovation will be participating in the Microsoft Alumni Network global summit, Connect 2023, in Redmond, Washington, on September 28-29. A number of VFI members are also members of the Alumni Network, and we look forward to meeting more Microsoft alumni at the end of the month. Will we see you there?
As always, below you’ll find our tech policy news roundup, as well as a featured podcast. Thank you.
This Week in Washington
- CNBC: The Senate voted to confirm Democrat Anna Gomez, a telecom attorney who’s previously worked in several positions at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in the private sector, to the FCC. Gomez’s confirmation as the fifth member of the commission ends a 2-2 partisan deadlock that has lasted the entirety of Biden’s presidency.
- Telecompetitor: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program awarded nearly $50 million to organizations in New Hampshire, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming. These awards were the last from NTIA’s $1 billion budget to help pay for middle mile construction, improvement, and acquisition, to ensure every community will have access to reliable and affordable internet.
- FedScoop and Government Executive: The NTIA is looking to significantly modernize the systems and software it uses to manage spectrum as dependence on 5G continues to grow worldwide. The NTIA stated that its current IT systems are outdated and hinder its ability to accommodate the demands of advanced technologies. Additionally, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), is also looking to improve its technology for government-wide services in its first new strategic IT plan in almost a decade.
- FedScoop: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking public input on how to implement the Biden administration’s U.S. Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology. This plan outlines the support for the development of international standards for technology and highlights the need for U.S. leadership in the process.
- Axios Pro: A group of more than 60 organizations is calling on the Biden administration to make their AI Bill of Rights a binding agreement that government agencies, contractors, and grantees must adhere to. With Congress having little time to act on AI in 2023, the organizations believe that the White House is better equipped to make these industry regulations.
- Defense One: General Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command and outgoing director of the National Security Agency (NSA), announced the NSA had completed a strategic study on the use of AI and machine learning for its missions, working toward developing a roadmap for how the emerging technologies will be used.
- Axios: High-profile hacker and Twitter security whistleblower, Peiter Zatko, is joining the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as a senior technical adviser focusing on the agency’s “secure by design” principles.
- CNBC: Microsoft has announced that they will partner with the company Paige, which develops AI-powered solutions for pathologists, to build the world’s largest image-based AI model for identifying cancer. The model will be trained on billions of images and will be able to identify common and rare cancers, which researchers hope will help doctors with increased caseloads and staffing shortages.
- Axios: While many feared that introducing AI into the workplace would cause job insecurity, a recent survey by Upwork proved otherwise. The survey found that over half of the C-suite respondents said they would expand hiring due to the emerging tech, specifically people who could work with it.
- Politico: California Governor Gavin Newson signed an executive order that will help the state take the first steps in understanding how to govern AI by studying the development, use, and risk of the emerging technology.
- Washington Post: Lawmakers across the country and on Capitol Hill have been debating how to best protect children online, but they have left out one critical voice: the youth. Now, young advocates are building organizations like Design It For Us and Encode Justice to demand a seat at the table and advocate for their rights online.
- PBS: A federal judge has placed an injunction on an Arkansas law requiring minors to get parental consent before creating new profiles on social media networks, siding with NetChoice’s request against the law. NetChoice had previously cited concerns that the law violates rights protected under the First Amendment.
- Marketplace Tech
When Mustafa Suleyman co-founded the AI research company DeepMind more than a decade ago, his goal felt ambitious, even a bit far-fetched: to build a machine that could replicate human intelligence. Now, he says, rapid progress in the development of artificial intelligence means the goal could be met within the next three years, and the implications of that milestone are huge. Suleyman explores those implications in his new book, “The Coming Wave,” which came out this week. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke to Suleyman, now CEO and co-founder of Inflection AI, about a core theme of his book: the idea of containment. (It’s imperative – and nearly impossible – to contain artificial intelligence, expert says – September 7, 2023)