How can the government keep up with the future

America’s IT networks need to be modernizedbadly – just ask one of the Thousands of passengers It was grounded last Wednesday after an FAA computer failure.

When she met Jordan Shapiro at CES last week, the government update was very much on her mind. She’s an economics and data analyst at the center-left Progressive Policy Institute, and as you can see, government has a critical responsibility to not only preserve legacy systems like the FAA’s, but also to keep up with fast-moving new areas like artificial intelligence and data privacy so that it can better serve citizens one day. after a day.

With that in mind, I called her today to talk about the barriers that prevent government from modernizing its technology—and more broadly about how to balance what she sees as the government’s duty to create a fair playing field with the need to allow free-to-market competition.

Below is an edited and condensed version of our conversation.

What is the position now, when it comes to the way the government is trying to modernize and access its systems?

Government services can be very difficult to navigate, and government data systems may not even capture the information we need to improve those systems.

The government owns hundreds of agencies, each with their own processes and technologies at varying levels of being in-house or outdated. As far as I know, there is not enough coherent planning to move this process forward and create an easier system. The way the government makes it easier for people to access its products and services is one of the main things that I would like to see improve.

What are the biggest points of contention now when it comes to improving government information technology for citizens?

I’m looking at things that can be improved “whole-of-government”. One of these is privacy. US citizens should know that their data is not being exploited. We have things like the Privacy Act of 1974, which protects government data of citizens — is that law strong enough to handle the multi-faceted data we now collect on people?

Else, how can we create a better system for users Check their information With government service providers? in President Biden executive order Talk about improving government customer service, talk about a “time tax” — if you apply for benefits from the Social Security Administration, fill out forms, then you fill out similar forms for Medicare and Medicaid, and with Health and Human Services, and it goes on and on. We have these legacy identity systems to prove our identity to various services, and we’ve seen during Covid this created a lot of fraud. I’m a big advocate for digital identity services, and that overlaps with privacy.

How intertwined is the modernization of these systems with the protection of people’s basic rights as citizens?

These systems are more and more essential parts of what it means to be a democratic citizen, and we want to make sure that they are accountable to us — not that we are accountable to them.

However, we at PPI believe in light regulation of innovation, and that over-regulation of innovation and technology can hinder their ability to thrive. For example, the Biden administration has laid out a blueprint for the use of artificial intelligence, and I think this is a form of holding technology accountable to us. Although not binding, it does provide a sense of how democratic values ​​can be embedded in the way we want to use technology. I’d like to see more work like this.

What are the biggest barriers at the moment to this business?

We’re seeing significant tech regulation happening around the world, and it’s still not clear how these regulations will interact with new technologies. So one of the biggest drawbacks in my work is that I don’t want to overstate what I’m suggesting regulators do, because it’s a new field. We don’t know how that will then interact with a product, or with future innovation in this space. One potential solution is to create more opportunities for sandboxing, trial and error, and iteration [outside the regulatory framework].

What are the biggest risks of failing to do so? What does a world look like where the government doesn’t do this?

There are different incentives in society – for many companies, optimization is about making the best product, making money, and generating brand loyalty. Safety, privacy, and other concerns may not be the primary consideration. That’s the role of government: to say, we need to make sure there are safeguards in place so that these technologies don’t take advantage of people.

To me, government is there to make sure there is a pro-consumer social improvement and set of incentives when new technologies are developed.

The flood of cryptocurrencies in the mid-term ’22 He returns home to crouch.

Ally to Politico and Nicholas Wu I mentioned last night About slight acidity in Congress due to newly inaugurated House members on both sides of the aisle who have received large donations from crypto companies in the past cycle — including some looking for spots on committees that could give them a say in the upcoming battle over crypto regulation.

“It is my hope that in selecting members of the Financial Services Committee … the House leadership will not select people who have received a million dollar independent outlay on their behalf by anyone in the digital currency industry,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). Ally and Nicholas. There are plenty of other committees to work on. Once you start talking about a million dollar IEs, you’re talking about real money.”

As they noted, Sherman could have been referring to fellow Democrat, freshman Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Tex.), who is reportedly seeking a seat on the House Financial Services Committee — and who won the primary with nearly $3 million in donor support. related to cryptocurrency. (However, Sherman, a prominent cryptocurrency critic, told reporters he would be “very confident that she will be with me on crypto issues.”)

Can your future autonomous vehicle In fact Input to climate change?

a A new study from MIT researchers It shows that the computing power required to replace the world’s car fleet with self-driving vehicles will produce… roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as all data centers currently in operation, or roughly the same amount that Argentina produces annually.

Of course, predicting how such a scenario might play out is difficult, as The researchers admitted To MIT’s internal news desk. No one knows exactly how much computing power these theoretical future vehicles will use…or how adopting them will change driving patterns…or what the carbon source for electrifying each vehicle is.

Still, the researchers view the experiment as an important step in getting automakers and politics to pay closer attention to the unexpected ways new technology can increase the carbon footprint — with co-author Vivian Sze saying tracking energy consumption is crucial, not just for prolonging Battery life, but also for sustainability. “