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09/29/2016

Key Issues

Artificial Intelligence

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is one of those tech terms that seems to inevitably conjure up images (and jokes) of computer overlords running sci-fi dystopias — or, more recently, robots taking over human jobs. (NPR)

Protecting Humans and Jobs From Robots Is 5 Tech Giants’ Goal. Five major technology companies said Wednesday that they had created an organization to set the ground rules for protecting humans — and their jobs — in the face of rapid advances in artificial intelligence. (New York Times)

Tech companies launch new AI coalition. Five leading tech companies launched a new effort Wednesday to head off government regulation of artificial intelligence, the fast-growing field at the heart of self-driving cars, digital assistants and other emerging technologies. (Politico Pro)

Banks Lead Charge to Adopt AI for Business, IBM CEO Rometty Says. Banks are positioned to pioneer the use of artificial intelligence to help them retain clients in an era of technological disruption, IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty said at a conference in Geneva. (Bloomberg)

Seize the ‘cognitive business model’ to win the digital race. “There is a moment of opportunity if you choose to seize it,” she said, referencing artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data and blockchain technology as a “cognitive business and technology model”. (ITI Mentioned, Banking Technology)

A High-Stakes Bet: Turning Google Assistant Into a ‘Star Trek’ Computer. Google is one of the most valuable companies in the world, but its future, like that of all tech giants, is clouded by a looming threat. The search company makes virtually all of its money from ads placed on the World Wide Web. (New York Times)

Why the Commerce Department wants you to experiment with Amazon’s Alexa. An upcoming Commerce Department event at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle will challenge people to connect government data to Amazon’s Alexa. (FedScoop)

Uber to Introduce Facial Recognition Tech for Rider Safety. Uber is rolling out a new security feature to make sure a driver behind the wheel is the same one who passed the company's background check. (GovTech)

Tech Politics

Trump transition team to huddle with tech industry. Senior advisers to Donald Trump's presidential transition team will huddle with tech leaders at a closed-door meeting in Washington next month, as the GOP candidate looks to plot out his approach to issues he's largely ignored during the course of his campaign. (ITI Mentioned, Politico Pro)

Trump transition team plans meeting with tech groups. Donald Trump’s transition team will meet next week with representatives of the tech industry, multiple sources confirmed, even as their candidate largely has been largely shunned by Silicon Valley. (The Hill)

Broadband/Communications

Dems urge FCC to approve new box rules. Democratic lawmakers made a final push for a Federal Communications Commission proposal to open up the market for television set-top boxes on Wednesday. (The Hill)

It’s Crunch Time for the FCC’s Plan to Bust Open the TV Set-Top Box Market. Federal regulators are poised to approve an ambitious plan to free consumers from the tyranny of the cable TV “set-top box,” some two decades after Congress passed a law mandating increased competition in the video device marketplace. (Motherboard)

FTC commissioners call for data-breach legislation, repeal of ‘common carrier’ exemption. Members of the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday urged the Senate Commerce Committee to take up federal data security and breach notification legislation and repeal an existing exemption that prevents the FTC from taking action against communications “common carriers” over data security and privacy issues. (Inside Cybersecurity)

FTC won’t give up fight against AT&T unlimited data throttling. The Federal Trade Commission will appeal a court decision that let AT&T avoid punishment for throttling the Internet connections of customers with unlimited data plans. (Ars Technica)

Cybersecurity

Top DOJ official warns of 'new liability' for not sharing cyber information with government. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin told industry lawyers today that advising corporate executives against sharing cyber vulnerabilities with the government – because of regulatory or legal concerns – could present its own set of liabilities by contributing to conditions that put another party at risk of an attack. (Inside Cybersecurity)

DHS, seeking more participation, to issue new standards for automated info sharing. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Andy Ozment on Tuesday said new standards for sharing threat indicators with the Automated Indicator Sharing program will be issued in the next few months as the department continues to push for greater participation by the private sector. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Defending Against Hackers Took a Back Seat at Yahoo, Insiders Say. Six years ago, Yahoo’s computer systems and customer email accounts were penetrated by Chinese military hackers. Google and a number of other technology companies were also hit. (New York Times)

At your service: cyber criminals for hire to militants, EU says. Cybercriminals offering contract services for hire offer militant groups the means to attack Europe but such groups have yet to employ such techniques in major attacks, EU police agency Europol said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

EU mulls amending controversial cyber export rules. A new proposal in the European Union would locally address many of the controversies over an international export control agreement that includes the United States. (The Hill)

Intellectual Property

Exclusive: Uber to move freight, target trucking for the long haul. With its recent acquisition of self-driving truck startup Otto, Uber Technologies Inc.[UBER.UL]is plotting its entry into the long-haul trucking business, aiming to establish itself as a freight hauler and a technology partner for the industry. (Reuters)

Internet of Things

Driverless cars are coming, the federal government must act. Driverless cars are coming to your street, the only question is “when?” (The Hill)

California Eyes Self-Driving Cars to Help Meet Emission Goal. California may focus on building more electric-vehicle charging stations and encouraging battery-powered self-driving cars to reach its mandate for zero-emission autos, avoiding for now the need for tougher standards being pushed by environmental groups. (Bloomberg Government)

Driverless future? Not so fast say Americans. Americans prefer the option to drive, even in a world where cars can drive themselves. (Washington Post)

NIST, others band together to create IoT-enabled smart city framework. The first draft of a framework for Internet of Things-enabled smart cities is due later this fall, public sector and National Institute of Standards and Technology officials announced Wednesday. (FedScoop)

On the IoT frontlines, cities should embrace culture over tech. Becoming a “smart” city is about much more than implementing effective Internet of Things and data analytics technologies, public sector experts said Wednesday. (StateScoop)

Autonomous What? Americans Aren’t Sure What Self-Driving Cars Are All About. Kelley Blue Book, the vehicle-buying guide, recently surveyed Americans to gauge their attitudes toward autonomous cars. First, though, it had to tell them what an autonomous vehicle is. (Wall Street Journal)

Kelley Blue Book: 60 percent of Americans don't really know what an autonomous car is. Self-driving cars are already here, but a recent study by Kelley Blue Book revealed that many Americans know little about what an autonomous vehicle is --as many as 60 percent polled for the study. The survey included 2,200 respondents aged 12 through 64. (CNET)

The Gray Area of Driverless Car Regulation. Less than a year ago, California regulators were prepared to lay down the law with manufacturers that wanted to sell driverless cars in the state. The California Department of Motor Vehicles would have required the cars to keep traditional features like pedals and steering wheels, and would have mandated that manufacturers clear any updates to their vehicles or software with an outside tester. (GovTech)

NSA deputy: IoT is a growing security problem. The explosion of web-connected devices heralded by the Internet of Things risks making us all more vulnerable online, NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett warned business leaders Tuesday. (FedScoop)

Public Sector

Feds will pay 4.4 percent more on health care premiums in 2017. On average, participants in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program will pay 4.4 percent more on their premiums in 2017. (Federal News Radio)

Political hires slow to receive MSPB hiring, workforce training. Thousands of new political hires will take up agency leadership positions in the months following the upcoming presidential transition, but their training on workforce and hiring practices might take longer than expected. (Federal News Radio)

Iron is hot for Congress to act on DoD space programs, experts say. The time is ripe for Congress to force the Defense Department’s hand on reorganizing the fragmented leadership of its space endeavors, says a former deputy defense secretary. (Federal News Radio)

Google aims to fix XSS, make the web safer. Tech giant Google has issued tools to help web developers identify and mitigate cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, one of the most common forms of hacking attacks. (FedScoop)

Environment/Sustainability

The Arctic Is Melting, and Fast. But Maybe Data Can Save It. THE MELTING ARCTIC has become this decade’s Amazon deforestation crisis. There’s no Sting album or fair trade coffee fundraiser, but the world’s attention turns north with each piece of distressing news of the catastrophic polar melt. (Wired)

Appeals Court Hears Challenge to Obama’s Climate Change Rules. The nation’s second-most powerful court grappled Tuesday with the intractable and potentially catastrophic problem of climate change, weighing whether constitutional questions surrounding President Obama’s climate change regulations should trump the moral obligations of upholding a plan to curb global warming. (New York Times)

Out of thin air: A new definition of crisis. Your company is in crisis, but it’s not because something inadvertently went wrong. You didn’t try to take a shortcut and get caught. Your product did not make people sick. No laws were broken and nothing exploded. None of the traditional things that we label crises happened. (GreenBiz)

Workforce/Diversity

Oculus “diversity” fellows struggle with cofounder’s politics. Back in March, Oculus announced the creation of Launch Pad, a workshop and funding initiative created in part as a way to attract the development efforts of "women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community and anyone who is willing to share how their perspective adds to the 'diversity of thought' in our community." (Ars Technica)

Tech Business

Who are the Silicon Valley CEOs in the $1-a-year salary club?. When the going gets tough, the tough CEOs join Silicon Valley’s $1 Club. (San Jose Mercury News)

BlackBerry Abandons Its Phone. BlackBerry will no longer make its own smartphones, the product it once defined. (New York Times)

Uber expands food delivery business into South Africa. Uber Technologies starts its UberEats food-delivery service in South Africa on Thursday before expanding in the rest of the country and into the continent, it said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Sears hitches a ride with Uber to make rewards plan more attractive. Sears Holdings Corp is partnering with ride-services company Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] as the struggling retailer tries to make its rewards program more attractive to shoppers. (Reuters)

Bitmoji? Kimoji? Digital Stickers Trump Plain Old Emojis. I was on my phone as usual last week when a grinning cartoon exclaiming “You Go Girl” popped up in my messages. The Simpsons-esque caricature wasn’t sent by a third-grader, but by a 66-year-old man. (Wall Street Journal)

Verizon technician sold calling, location data for thousands of dollars. An Alabama man who worked as a Verizon Wireless technician has agreed to plead guilty to a federal hacking charge in connection to his illegal use of the company's computers to acquire customer calling and location data. (Ars Technica)

New Sacramento, Calif., Arena Combines Silicon Valley Innovation with Smart Infrastructure. Vivek Ranadive is a creature of Silicon Valley. He built two successful software companies, wears an Apple watch and last year took his employees on a tour of Tesla’s electric car factory. (GovTech)

Deutsche Bank and Twitter are lost in the past. Deutsche Bank and Twitter do not appear to have much in common apart from the fact that each is worth about $16bn and is in the news. One is a 146-year-old bank facing a crisis of confidence and a demand from the US Department of Justice for $14bn; the other is a 10-year-old US social network that could soon be acquired by Google, Salesforce or even Disney. (Financial Times)

Elon Musk Unveils His Plan For Colonizing Mars. Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk says his space transport company, SpaceX, will build a rocket system capable of taking people to Mars and supporting a permanent city on the red planet. (NPR)

China's fast-growing LeEco just made a big hire as it continues its U.S. expansion. Chinese device maker LeEco, which has been on an acquisition and hiring spree in the U.S., said Wednesday it has hired former Qualcomm executive Rob Chandhok to lead its North American research and development efforts. (Recode)

Regulators crack down on Alphabet-backed payday lender. Just months after Google banned payday loan advertisements, regulators have cracked down on a similar type of company backed by the venture capital arm of Google's parent company, Alphabet. (Washington Post)

ITI Member News

Facebook, World Bank and OECD Link Up to Gather Data. Social-media giant Facebook Inc. is teaming up with the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to pioneer a new way of collecting data, taking the first step on a path to what they hope will be broader, less expensive and more timely insights into the state of the global economy. (Wall Street Journal)

Apple deepens enterprise push with Deloitte partnership. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Deloitte LLP announced a partnership on Wednesday in which the consultant will open a new practice to help corporate clients work with Apple products, the tech firm's latest attempt to boost enterprise sales as its key product, the iPhone, shows signs of maturation. (Reuters)

Apple to make landmark Battersea Power Station its new London home. Technology giant Apple (AAPL.O) said on Wednesday it is moving its London headquarters to the landmark Battersea Power Station, a move hailed by the government as a sign that major firms are still investing after the Brexit vote. (Reuters)

Apple to Move Into London's Battersea Power Station. Silicon Valley giant Apple Inc. said Wednesday that it planned to relocate 1,400 employees to a new London campus in 2021, in a sign that international corporations remain committed to the U.K. after June’s Brexit vote. (Wall Street Journal)

Yahoo data breach motivated by money, says ID protection company. Cyber criminals motivated by money may have been behind the attack on Yahoo — not a sophisticated nation state actor — according to a report by identity protection company InfoArmor. (Financial Times)

Facebook and Google: most powerful and secretive empires we've ever known. Google and Facebook have conveyed nearly all of us to this page, and just about every other idea or expression we’ll encounter today. Yet we don’t know how to talk about these companies, nor digest their sheer power. (The Guardian)

HP Inc. Apologizes for Move that Blocked Rival Printer Cartridges. HP Inc. apologized for how it handled a recent move that stopped ink cartridges supplied by other vendors from working with some HP printers. (Wall Street Journal)

1600 Penn.

Today, in the afternoon, the President and First Lady will welcome the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in this year’s Games in Rio. The Vice President will also attend. Later in the afternoon, the President will travel to Jerusalem.