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Washington AI “Gold Rush”-POLITICO




With the help of Ben Schlekinger.

Skydio R1 Drone | AP Photo / Jeff Chiba

Little AI guys are taking part in a game of influence in Washington.

Technology giants and defense industry contractors have long dominated AI lobbying for both money and lucrative rules. And while the largest companies still dominate the debate, the pending legislation in Congress aimed to stay ahead of China on innovation, along with a bill on data privacy, is lobbying by small AI players. Caused a surge in.

Many companies focused on robotics, drones, and self-driving cars have all installed their own Washington influence machines to shape the future of AI policy to their liking.

Many of them are promoted by one major law. The Bipartisan Innovation Act, commonly referred to as USICA, an acronym for the previous title, is the goal of innovating China.

One tech lobbyist acknowledged anonymity to speak up and called the AI ​​lobbying activity at USICA the Gold Rush. If the bill is passed as it is currently written, it will incur additional research funding of approximately $ 50 billion over the next five years. Senate leader Chuck Schumer touted USICA, formerly known as US innovation and competition law, as the best response to China’s technological advantage.

Robotics company iRobot has registered Vogel Group, a leading DC company led by former Republican leader Alex Vogel, in the bill’s lobby. Self-driving technology company ArgoAI dispatches in-house lobbyists to lobby activities, including former White House Chief of Staff Debbie Dingle (D-Mich.) And former White House Chief of Staff Lindsey Graham (RS.C.). Did. Supply chain issues within USICA.

Ryan Hagemann, co-director of IBM Policy Lab, says that the focus of attention in the AI ​​space is currently in USICA law.

However, the expansion of lobbying goes far beyond USICA and goes beyond chasing government subsidies.

The latest version of the US Data Privacy and Protection Act and the Algorithmic Accountability Act propose a government-mandated impact assessment for all companies that use the algorithm. This means that a company may suddenly have to hand over a technical audit to a regulatory agency. This is a long process that claims to apply only to companies that produce high-risk AI, such as the face recognition techniques police use to catch criminals, and the risk of AI like chatbots. For example, IBM argues that it is not necessary to perform the same kind of impact assessment on a general-purpose AI system as a company training AI on its own dataset.

Hagemann said it wasn’t about who should do the impact assessment, but when it should be done.

Merve Hickok, senior at the AI ​​and Digital Policy Center, a non-profit digital advocacy group, said there are many problems. If lobbying is effective, only a handful of companies need to submit an algorithm audit.

We see many companies lobbying against these obligations, not just Big Tech, but some industry groups, he said, pointing out ongoing efforts in Europe.

The definition of what constitutes AI is ambiguous in the first place. However, many companies that use AI to operate technology, such as drone companies, have succumbed to bumpy vehicles in Washington. Drone company Skydio has nearly doubled lobbying spending from $ 160,000 in 2020 to $ 304,000 in 2021 in search of more funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s training initiative and the Pentagon’s acquisition of drones. .. In 2021, more than $ 1.5 million was spent on lobbying in 2020, compared to $ 65,000. This is expected to exceed this year. Skydio declined to comment and Shield AI did not respond to the request for comment.

Meanwhile, facial recognition companies like Clearview AI are fighting bills to suspend the use of technologies such as facial recognition and biometric technology Moratorium Actor. Faced with heavy scrutiny from lawmakers for controversial facial recognition technology, Clearview AI spent $ 120,000 on lobbying in 2021 after first registering a lobbyist in May 2021.

Hickok pointed out that US lobbying around AI is still dominated by large companies such as Google and Amazon, despite a surge in small and medium-sized businesses registering for lobbying. Hickock said the United States hasn’t passed important AI regulations, so it’s been a testbed while companies are enjoying the benefits.

Message from Ericsson:

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The crypto market financial crisis continues today, with courts in the British Virgin Islands ordering the liquidation of the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

POLITICO’s Sam Sutton reports that two executives from politically connected consulting firm Teneo will oversee the process.

For investors interested in how and why the fund reached this point and worried that it could further destabilize the crypto market, a new report from chain analytics firm Nansen is reciprocal. Track some of the movements associated with. The decline in dominoes is the way Nansen researcher Andrew Thurman summarized it by email.

The report highlights the role of bet Ether, a derivative of Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency issued by Lido Finance. (The bet Ether is not the currency itself, but a token that can be redeemed for Ether after the Ethereum network has completed a complex upgrade process.) When the times were booming, the market was betting Ether. Treated as as good as. But last month, as the algorithm’s stablecoin TerraLuna melted, the bet Ether began trading at a discounted price than the real thing.

Three Arrows invested in both Luna and the bet Ether. After TerraLuna melted down, Thurman said he was at a loss to sell the bet Ether and eventually couldn’t recover.

The market may now rest, despite the fear of further transmission caused by the collapse of the three arrows. Cryptocurrency lender Celsius, who recently expressed concern, has improved its position on the chain by suspending the withdrawal, and Lido’s emergency measures appear to have calmed investors, Sirman said. .. -Benschlekinger

Message from Ericsson:

A new GAO report on the use of facial recognition technology by the government found that many federal and state agencies use facial recognition. GAO has found that most of these agencies do not assess the privacy risks associated with facial recognition. 14 agencies, from NASA to the Justice Department, use facial recognition to unlock their smartphones. It’s a sign that facial recognition has become very quartydian, taken for granted, and leading major institutions to use it without fully analyzing its effects. -Konstantin Kakaes

-Forbes analysis found that a popular app for tracking pregnancy and ovulation reserves the right to pass user data to law enforcement agencies.

-Is it difficult to extend cutting-edge technology?

-Professors of Finance provide a world-historical way to think about blockchain.

-The possibility that AI will generate ideas

-What does human-centric AI really look like?

Message from Ericsson:

Ericsson. 5G for the US.

5G will be a new economy platform driven by cutting-edge use cases that take advantage of 5G’s speed, low latency and reliability. Ericsson’s 120-year history in the United States and recent investments such as the $ 100 million factory in Texas make the company a good partner to build an open and secure network that is the backbone of the 5G economy. ..

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