Welcome to the first installment of Voices for Innovation’s tech policy roundup created exclusively for Microsoft Alumni Network members.
VFI is a Microsoft-supported advocacy community that empowers technology professionals and everyday Americans to engage in discussions about the most important tech policy issues of the day. VFI champions public policies that foster innovation, support business growth, and enable technology to address societal challenges. We encourage Microsoft Alumni Network members to join our program and get involved.
Here are three key issues VFI has been highlighting in recent weeks, with links to coverage and commentary:
Advancing Responsible Artificial Intelligence
Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith recently published a milestone blog about the vast potential of artificial intelligence—and the need to establish guardrails for this transformative technology. Smith underscores that AI “brings huge opportunities to better the world.” He writes, “The ability to discover new insights in large data sets will drive new advances in medicine, new frontiers in science, new improvements in business, and new and stronger defenses for cyber and national security.”
Given the potential of AI to impact many areas of our lives, Smith calls for engagement by the broadest range of stakeholders. He writes that AI requires “new rules of the road” and that, “Countries and communities will need to use democratic law-making processes to engage in whole-of-society conversations about where the lines should be drawn to ensure that people have protection under the law.” Read the entire blog on Microsoft on the Issues here.
Cybersecurity Talent Shortage Persists
The year began with news of layoffs in the tech sector, but it’s important to note that demand for skilled cybersecurity employees remains strong. Filling cybersecurity roles will likely be a persistent challenge for businesses for the foreseeable future.
Recognizing the talent gap in cybersecurity, last year, the U.S. House introduced legislation to boost cybersecurity education at community colleges—the National Community College Cybersecurity Challenge Act. VFI is hopeful that this legislation will be reintroduced this year—and we will share opportunities for VFI members to share their support.
Helping Students Develop Information Literacy
New AI tools are helping to improve online search, but we must all still evaluate a flood of information. Distinguishing between accurate, credible information and misinformation is essential for a strong democracy. This is especially a challenge for young students, who must evaluate sources of information when doing school assignments, learning on their own, or even shopping.
To help meet this challenge, Microsoft offers unique tools for classrooms called Search Coach and Search Progress. These educational apps help students form effective queries, evaluate search results, and identify misinformation. Engadget writes about this education technology here. You can also learn more on the Microsoft Education Blog and in this story.
Thank you for reading. We’ll be back again with another roundup of news, commentary, and information about tech policies. To participate in VFI’s activities, please sign up today.