Florida Pushes Forward a Social Media Ban for Kids Under 16

Florida’s legislature has passed a bill banning children younger than 16 from having social media accounts despite some pushback from Governor Ron DeSantis, who said he will be wrestling with whether to sign the measure into law. Due to a procedural requirement, DeSantis will have to sign or veto the proposed legislation before lawmakers conclude the current session in a matter of weeks. He has expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of a provision to let parents override the restriction, which would curtail access to the most popular sites, potentially impacting TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. Continue reading Florida Pushes Forward a Social Media Ban for Kids Under 16

Justice Department Appoints Jonathan Mayer Chief AI Officer

Jonathan Mayer has been named the Justice Department’s first chief science and technology advisor and will also hold the title chief artificial intelligence officer, another first. The announcement was made by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who said “the Justice Department must keep pace with rapidly evolving scientific and technological developments in order to fulfill our mission to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe, and protect civil rights.” Mayer will advise Garland and department leaders and collaborate with other departments “on complex issues requiring technical expertise,” including cybersecurity, AI and other areas of emerging technology. Continue reading Justice Department Appoints Jonathan Mayer Chief AI Officer

U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium Debuts with 200 Members

The U.S. has established the AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), uniting artificial intelligence researchers, creators, academics and other users across government, industry and civil society organizations to support the development and deployment of safe and trustworthy AI. The group launches with more than 200 member entities ranging from tech giants Google, Microsoft and Amazon to AI-first firms OpenAI, Cohere and Anthropic. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the move the day after naming Elizabeth Kelly director of the new U.S. AI Safety Institute, housed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Continue reading U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium Debuts with 200 Members

OpenAI Partners with Common Sense Media on AI Guidelines

As parents and educators grapple with figuring out how AI will fit into education, OpenAI is preemptively acting to help answer that question, teaming with learning and child safety group Common Sense Media on informational material and recommended guidelines. The two will also work together to curate “family-friendly GPTs” for the GPT Store that are “based on Common Sense ratings and standards,” the organization said. The partnership aims “to help realize the full potential of AI for teens and families and minimize the risks,” according to Common Sense. Continue reading OpenAI Partners with Common Sense Media on AI Guidelines

CES: Panelists Weigh Need for Safe AI That Serves the Public

A CES session on government AI policy featured an address by Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson (who is also administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration), followed by a discussion of government activities, and finally industry perspective from execs at Google, Microsoft and Xperi. Davidson studied at MIT under nuclear scientist Professor Philip Morrison, who spent the first part of his career developing the atomic bomb and the second half trying to stop its use. That lesson was not lost on Davidson. At NTIA they are working to ensure “that new technologies are developed and deployed in the service of people and in the service of human progress.” Continue reading CES: Panelists Weigh Need for Safe AI That Serves the Public

CES: Championing Consumer Product Safety in the Age of AI

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric spoke with CTA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rachel Nemeth during CES 2024 about the challenges of extending safety to products that are constantly evolving and incorporating new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Nemeth pointed out that the agency’s authorizing statute was enacted in 1972 and was last amended in 2008. “We’re doing a lot of good work with the statute we have,” Hoehn-Saric responded. “But we’re changing the way we operate. We talk a lot about machine learning and AI.” Continue reading CES: Championing Consumer Product Safety in the Age of AI

CES: FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter on AI Regulation

In a CES conversation with Consumer Technology Association Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rachel Nemeth, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter discussed the Commission’s work on AI-enabled impersonation fraud, privacy, and right of repair. Taking the stage just after FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Slaughter said she wanted to co-sign his plea for “full visibility of the work we do.” “We have responsibility to all Americans to make sure they are represented in the substance of the work we do,” she said. “The same is true for industries that want to reach all Americans.” Continue reading CES: FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter on AI Regulation

CES: Government, Industry Stakeholders on IoT Certification

National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Dr. Laurie Locascio, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards & Technology, opened a CES discussion on the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark for certification of IoT devices by highlighting “how government and industry can work together to make IoT devices safe and secure — and drive U.S. innovation and productiveness.” “We believe in the power of partnership,” she noted, listing the Consumer Technology Association as an important partner along with academia and consumers in “fostering an environment that enables innovation.” She said this work led to the FCC’s proposal for a Cyber Mark Trust labeling program. Continue reading CES: Government, Industry Stakeholders on IoT Certification

Apple Says U.S. Data Breaches Up by More Than 20 Percent

Apple is emphasizing the importance of data encryption with a report that shows personal data breaches up 300 percent between 2013 and 2022. In the past two years, more than 2.6 billion personal records have been exposed, according to the newly released study “The Continued Threat to Personal Data: Key Factors Behind the 2023 Increase.” The report, created by Dr. Stuart Madnick, the founding director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan, cites increasing dependence on cloud computing as the main factor for the surge. U.S. data intrusions through Q3 of this year are 20 percent higher than all 12 months of 2022. Continue reading Apple Says U.S. Data Breaches Up by More Than 20 Percent

Bluesky Adds Automated Moderation, Rethinks Web Visibility

Bluesky, the decentralized social media app spun out by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey that is poised to become a competitor to that platform’s successor, X, has passed the 2 million users milestone just 10 months after its launch. Although still in private beta, and accessible only through an invite code, Bluesky has been making headlines recently, first for what was criticized as lax content moderation, and also for announcing a public web interface that would allow anyone (and everyone) to view posts by the private network’s members, a policy decision that has reportedly been reversed. Continue reading Bluesky Adds Automated Moderation, Rethinks Web Visibility

AWS Debuts Amazon One Enterprise Palm-Scanning Service

Amazon Web Services has introduced a palm-scanning identity service for enterprise clients that lets people authenticate when entering physical premises. Called Amazon One Enterprise, the new service leverages the Amazon One offering launched in 2020 to allow biometric payments in Amazon’s cashierless Amazon Go stores, bringing the technology to the workplace. At retail, Go shoppers can link payment cards to their palm-print and complete transactions by placing their hand on a scanner. While use of biometric data has raised concerns, Amazon appears to be expanding the technology’s applications. Continue reading AWS Debuts Amazon One Enterprise Palm-Scanning Service

Altman Reinstated as CEO of OpenAI, Microsoft Joins Board

Sam Altman has wasted no time since being rehired as CEO of OpenAI on November 22, four days after being fired. This week, the 38-year-old leader of one of the most influential artificial intelligence firms outlined his “immediate priorities” and announced a newly constituted “initial board” that includes a non-voting seat for investor Microsoft. The three voting members thus far include former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor as chairman and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers — both newcomers — and sophomore Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora. Mira Murati, interim CEO during Altman’s brief absence, returns to her role as CTO. Continue reading Altman Reinstated as CEO of OpenAI, Microsoft Joins Board

Newsom Report Examines Use of AI by California Government

California Governor Gavin Newsom has released a report examining the beneficial uses and potential harms of artificial intelligence in state government. Potential plusses include improving access to government services by identifying groups that are hindered due to language barriers or other reasons, while dangers highlight the need to prepare citizens with next generation skills so they don’t get left behind in the GenAI economy. “This is an important first step in our efforts to fully understand the scope of GenAI and the state’s role in deploying it,” Newsom said, calling California’s strategy “a nuanced, measured approach.” Continue reading Newsom Report Examines Use of AI by California Government

U.S., Britain and 16 Nations Aim to Make AI Secure by Design

The United States, Britain and 16 other countries have signed a 20-page agreement on working together to keep artificial intelligence safe from bad actors, mandating collaborative efforts for creating AI systems that are “secure by design.” The 18 countries said they will aim to ensure companies that design and utilize AI develop and deploy it in a way that protects their customers and the public from abuse. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) jointly released the Guidelines for Secure AI System Development. Continue reading U.S., Britain and 16 Nations Aim to Make AI Secure by Design

OpenAI Developing ‘Provenance Classifier’ for GenAI Images

OpenAI is developing an AI tool that can identify images created by artificial intelligence — specifically those made in whole or part by its Dall-E 3 image generator. Calling it a “provenance classifier,” company CTO Mira Murati began publicly discussing the detection app last week but said not to expect it in general release anytime soon. This, despite Murati’s claim it is “almost 99 percent reliable.” That is still not good enough for OpenAI, which knows there is much at stake when the public perception of artists’ work can be impacted by a filter applied by AI, which is notoriously capricious. Continue reading OpenAI Developing ‘Provenance Classifier’ for GenAI Images