Welcome back to the regular Friday feature: The future in five questions. Today we have Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who sits on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation as well as the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. Read on to hear his thoughts on the dangers of unsupervised digital surveillance, innovations in clean energy, and the dangers of social media.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

What is the big idea being taken lightly?

Geothermal energy. America’s clean energy future requires that we harness the energy that is the heat under our feet – just as it requires us to harness the powers of the sun, wind, and current. We have a lot of potential to produce clean, abundant energy right here at home.

What technology do you think is overrated?

Internet-connected doorbell cameras constantly record audio and video of our neighborhoods – capturing vast amounts of data and recording what the public says and does. We shouldn’t have to pit privacy over security.

What book most shaped your perceptions of the future?

“Blinking Torch Mystery.” The Hardy Boys find a radioactive engine in an airplane junkyard and uncover an atomic mystery. I remember reading the story as a child and thinking to myself: No man should have the power of the god-like atom.

What can the government do about technology when it is not?

Congress must take more seriously the potential harm that social media is doing to our nation’s children. The least we can do is fund research into this harm and make sure that parents, educators and clinicians understand how the platforms and their black box algorithms can affect the mental health of young people.

What surprised you the most this year?

Well – to be honest – I think a lot about how much our future looks like from our past. Access to abortion was first recognized as a basic and constitutional right nearly half a century ago. The far-right majority in the Supreme Court immediately took it away. Justice Thomas went so far as to suggest that his majority should overturn decisions that upheld the constitutional right to marry someone you love, use contraceptives and more. It’s ridiculous, and it takes us decades back.

There is neat conventional wisdom about how emerging policies around cryptocurrency work: Aggressive pro-regulatory Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) stand in opposition to the freedom-loving Republican Party, divine guns and bitcoin.

It’s not that simple. Two major legislation, one proposed Only this week From Senators Debbie Stabeno (D-Michigan) and John Bozeman (R-Ark) that would give the CFTC more power to regulate cryptocurrency, the broader bill was introduced Increase organizational clarity About the industry from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) earlier this year, they were strongly bipartisan.

This week’s bill coincided with a particularly notable duster like Politico’s Sam Sutton I mentioned yesterday For Pro subscribers, the growing anger of Congressional Republicans at the crypto-skeptical SEC head, Gary Gensler. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pen) was particularly upset by the lack of clarity that still exists about which cryptocurrencies are or should be classified as securities, telling Sam that Gensler “acts, but does so selectively.” Rep. Tom Emer (R-MN) went so far as to accuse the president of “repressing well-meaning corporations,” and said that if Republicans took control of Congress in November, he hoped to “begin putting it under some heavy scrutiny if he continues around because I think It’s broken.”

ouch. There are plenty of Democrats sympathetic to cryptocurrency on the hill, but high-profile fights like this can make even a very new tech policy issue seem like just another red-and-blue feud.

Video games as a medium are now more than half a century old At least, a very profitable global industry.

So it makes sense for state authorities to incorporate it into America’s global media footprint — including the official game development team within the State Department’s Technology Interaction Team, which is launching a browser-based game called “Cat Park” that aims to inoculate users against online misinformation.

Patricia Watts, director of the Technology Interaction team, described to me how the principles of the game are based on “the theory of pollination” – the idea that by educating people about common disinformation technologies, they will be better prepared to detect and reject them in the wild.

Paul Fisher, the team’s chief technical advisor, explained the game’s premise: The player takes on the role of a “disinformation agent recruited in a shadowy social media pressure campaign” intended to provoke opposition to a public cat park. (How evil, right?)

“There is a market for misinformation on the supply and demand side,” Fisher said, saying his team “envisions[s] of games to address the demand side.” Previous team match that had a similar focusHarmony SquareIt has been played more than 150,000 times according to the Ministry of State, and holds the stamp of effectiveness from Harvard researchers. (There is no release date for “Cat Park” yet).

Fisher described how the team is setting their sights on gaming’s next frontier as well: “Virtual reality is going to be another place for misinformation, so it will be up to industry leaders to figure out what content editing will look like in the metaverse,” he said. .

Stay in touch with the whole team: Ben Shrekinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Konstantin Kakays ([email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed.

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