Earlier this month, as part of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ and Ministerial Meetings taking place in Seattle, Microsoft hosted a discussion on decarbonization of the power sector. As a Microsoft on the Issues blog explains, making continued progress on reducing carbon emissions will take a combination of innovation, infrastructure expansion, and sensible public policies. The blog also highlights Microsoft’s clean energy goals, its investments in clean energy capacity, and the role that AI can play in driving efficiencies and improved operations in the energy sector.
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This Week in Washington
- Nextgov: The White House is developing a 10-year modernization plan to eliminate vulnerable, outdated technology systems in use by federal agencies. This plan will help meet the standards set by the newly released National Cybersecurity Strategy.
- CNN: Multiple federal agencies have failed to fully comply with the security practices implemented by a 2021 executive order from President Biden. Now, the White House is ordering these federal agencies to shore up their cybersecurity by the end of the year to protect the U.S. government from malicious cyber intrusions.
- Nextgov: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has taken its first steps in regulating generative AI by unanimously voting to advance a petition for rulemaking on the use of deceptive content in campaign advertisements. The FEC had previously failed to advance a similar petition back in June.
- Nextgov: Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is urging AI companies to commit to extending their existing voluntary pledges to all of their systems and make more commitments that address high-risk areas. Senator Warner’s push comes as Congress and the Biden administration continue to determine the best course of action for regulating the emerging technology and risks associated with it.
- Reuters: The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a top agency for consumer financial protection, is developing a plan to regulate companies that collect and sell people’s data. They intend to ensure the surveillance industry understands that it cannot engage in the illegal collection and sharing of user data.
- The Hill: The Biden administration is urging the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s decision to uphold a Texas social media law limiting platforms’ ability to moderate content and users, even if they violate the terms and conditions.
- Wall Street Journal: To revive the U.S. chip industry, the Biden administration looked to Wall Street financiers to help allocate the $39 billion for manufacturing subsidies that are part of the Chips and Science Act. The administration believes this move will help to advance domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
- Bloomberg: In an interview with The Circuit with Emily Chang, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared his belief that AI is as big of a tidal wave as the internet. OpenAI’s Sam Altman also joined the conversation to discuss his company’s partnership with Microsoft and the need for global regulation of the emerging technology.
- Semafor: The New York Times will not join a group of media companies, including Axel Springer (publisher of Politico) and News Corp, that are attempting to jointly negotiate with the major tech companies over the use of their content to power artificial intelligence.
- NBC News: Illinois became the first state to pass a law protecting child influencers, ensuring minors receive compensation for appearances in vlogs. This new law is set to take effect in July 2024 and has advocates against child exploitation optimistic that other states will follow their lead.
- Reuters: New York City has joined several cities and states across the U.S. by banning TikTok from government-owned devices, citing concerns that the app poses a security threat to the city’s technical networks. New York State had already implemented a ban on TikTok on state-issued devices.
- Axios: A federal judge will decide whether to temporarily block Arkansas’ new social media age verification law, which would require social media companies to use a third party to verify that new users are 18 or older.
- Marketplace Tech
Executives of seven tech companies gathered at the White House last month and committed to voluntarily address the risks posed by artificial intelligence. Just days later, a subset of those industry players, including Microsoft, OpenAI, Anthropic, and Google, announced the formation of the Frontier Model Forum, which will focus on the responsible development of powerful AI tools. The Forum will include an advisory board and a public library supporting best practices for AI. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali discusses the Forum and this industry-led approach to responsible AI with Rumman Chowdhury, CEO and co-founder of Humane Intelligence and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. (Should the AI makers also be the AI regulators? – August 3, 2023)