During last year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, long-time Voices for Innovation leader Frank Valdivieso participated on a panel titled, “Latinos and the Future of AI,” at the Leadership Conference of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. We recently caught up with Frank to ask him about the experience and what points he shared.
“AI to a large degree represents a further democratization of technology. Anyone can easily benefit from this technology, no matter their background, race, religion, or whatever. As a small business owner, I can already access generative AI solutions to help improve the productivity of our team,” Frank shared on the panel—and with VFI. Check out our Q&A and video excerpt with Frank on the VFI blog.
We hope your year is off to a great start. We’ve rounded up recent tech policy news and a featured podcast below.
This Week in Washington
- Fierce Telecom: A group of U.S. senators and representatives introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Extension Act, a bipartisan bill that would allocate an additional $7 billion to support the program and keep low-income households across the U.S. connected.
- Nextgov/FCW: A bipartisan group of senators is urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to allocate $10 million for FY24 to help establish the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)’s U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute, which would help support and further NIST’s research.
- CyberScoop: A recent report from the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community found that while federal agencies have improved their ability to share threat information and defense mitigation, long-standing policy and technical concerns remain a barrier to rapid information sharing.
- Broadband Breakfast: Major U.S. cities are targeting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s “mixed-use” rule that blocks them from adding telecommunications or information service fees on cable providers. Abolishing this rule could allow cities to tap into the billions cable companies make in broadband revenue.
- CyberScoop: While speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University, Rob Joyce, the director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Cybersecurity Directorate, shared that AI and machine learning are helping U.S. agencies detect malicious Chinese cyber activity.
- Nextgov/FCW: During a hearing with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, experts stressed the need for governments to invest in capacity to harness the potential that AI has to offer.
- FedScoop: AI experts and policymakers believe that the use of digital watermarks to verify AI-generated content should be a critical component to tackling deepfakes and other malicious misinformation, but they lack a clear consensus on what a digital watermark is, meaning it could fall short of its potential and even enable bad actors.
- Axios: Cyber experts expect hackers to double down on their tactics from 2023 to 2024, maintaining themes of fast pace, vast scales, and growing sophistication; however, while organizations are better at defending tactics hackers use, they can quickly adjust to the defenses.
- Cardinal News: Virginia, one of the nation’s leaders in closing the digital divide, is facing a delay in expanding broadband to 162,000 new locations due to out-of-date utility poles. How much updating the poles will cost and who will make the updates are just a few issues internet service providers and pole owners are working through.
- ABC 7: The California Department of Transportation is asking technology companies to develop generative AI tools to help reduce traffic and make their roads safer. California lawmakers are weighing the pros and cons amid concerns of privacy and job displacement, but the technology could help analyze traffic quicker, improve gridlock time, and move them closer to their goal of having zero fatalities or serious injuries on the roads by 2050.
- StateScoop: A class project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that cloned the voices of several state lawmakers encouraged them to consider introducing legislation to regulate AI in a way that would balance its merits and potential consequences. State Senator John Cavanaugh has already proposed legislation that would replicate Michigan’s law, requiring disclosure of the use of AI in political ads.
- Tools and Weapons with Brad Smith
As the United States’ first Ambassador-at-Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, Nathaniel Fick is leading a tech-centered global diplomatic mission. Nate brings extraordinary depth to this important role in contemporary foreign policy – not as a career diplomat, but from a wide range of experiences: a Classics graduate from Dartmouth, a Marine leader in Afghanistan and Iraq, a venture capitalist, and a CEO for a cybersecurity firm. As we kick off 2024, we discuss his priorities for the year ahead, why he’d always choose his radio over his rifle, the parallels between philosophy and AI policy, and an inspiring call for each of us to find time for national service. (U.S. Ambassador Nate Fick: Choosing a radio over a rifle in combat – January 8, 2023)