This Week in Washington IP: Developing a U.S. AI Strategy, Digital Currencies During COVID-19, and Expanding Broadband Access

By IPWatchdog
August 24, 2020

This week in Washington IP news, both houses of Congress remain (mostly) silent with August recess still ongoing. However, policy institutes continue to hold online events related to technology and innovation during this quiet period. The week starts with the Center for Strategic & International Studies exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diaspora remittances to homeland communities with the use of digital currencies, while the Heritage Foundation looks at efforts within Army Futures Command to develop advanced missile technologies. Artificial intelligence is the focus of events this week at CSIS, which hosts a webinar with the author of T Minus AI: Humanity’s Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power, the Bipartisan Policy Center discusses ways to address systemic inequalities by expanding access to broadband Internet.

Monday, August 24 

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Digital Currency and Remittances in the Time of COVID-19

At 9:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.

Digital currencies are having a major impact on financial systems all over the world including sub-Saharan Africa, which will likely see its first recession in 25 years due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the World Bank. This event, hosted by the Africa Project at CSIS, will discuss opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond to deploy digital currencies in an attempt to assuage and perhaps even prevent the risk of economic downturn by enabling remittances from diaspora communities to continue reaching relatives and others who need financial help located in their homelands. Speakers at this event will include Michael Kimani, Chairman, Blockchain Association of Kenya; Marie McAuliffe, Head of the Migration Policy Research Division, IOM (Geneva); Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union; and Judd Devermont, The Africa Program, CSIS.

The Heritage Foundation

The Imperative to Improve the Army’s Precision Fires Capability

At 10:30 AM on Monday, online video webinar.

As the economic standoff between the United States and China returns the world to a sense of globalized great power competition, policymakers have been debating the need to modernize outdated equipment in the U.S. military to ensure dominance in the event of an armed conflict. Among the modernization initiatives currently underway in the U.S. Army include the development of a new precision missile, a hypersonic missile and extended range artillery. The event, hosted by Thomas Spoehr, Director, Center for National Defense, features a discussion with Brigadier General John Rafferty, Director, Long Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team, Army Futures Command.

Tuesday, August 25 

The Brookings Institution 

Can We Alleviate Racism and Systemic Inequality By Expanding Broadband Access During COVID-19

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Systemic issues that create inequalities for racial minorities and other underprivileged demographics have been placed under a microscope during the COVID-19 pandemic both due to several tragic incidents between law enforcement and U.S. citizens. Many of the same groups facing these systemic realities are facing problems with broadband Internet access and a lack of access poses major obstacles for those who need essential government services, education or employment. This event, hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, features a discussion on expanding Internet access to mitigate systemic inequality. The panel for this discussion will include Kaya Henderson, CEO, Reconstruction, and Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools; Mark Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League; Andre M. Perry, Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program; and moderated by Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director, Center for Technology Innovation.

Bipartisan Policy Center

An AI National Strategy for Congress

At 3:30 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

The societal and economic changes that come with major technological advancements often provide an impetus for government action to ensure that tech development can raise living standards and quality of life while minimizing ethical concerns posed by those advances. Over the past year, the Bipartisan Policy Center has been in discussions with Representatives Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Will Hurd (R-TX) to develop a national AI strategy to be implemented by Congress. This event features a discussion with both Kelly and Hurd on this AI strategy as it relates to the American workforce, ethics, U.S. R&D as well as national security. Keynote remarks at this event will be given by Eric Schmidt, Chair, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Following those remarks will be a discussion with a panel including Martijn Rasser, Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security, Center for a New American Security; Helen Toner, Director of Strategy, Center for Security and Emerging Technology; Nicol Turner Lee, Director, Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution; and moderated by Chandler C. Morse, Head of DC Office, Workday.

Thursday, August 27

The Aspen Institute

Innovation and Learning Webinar

At 2:00 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

With social distancing requirements and other major changes wrought by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators all over the world have been grappling with the implications of the “new normal” presented by this highly infectious disease. Especially with schools of all levels set to begin classes within a week or so, many are looking to innovative responses to the disruptive forces presented by COVID-19 in order to ensure that America’s children and young adults receive the schooling they need. The discussion panel for this event has yet to be announced.

Friday, August 28

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Book Talk: T Minus AI with Michael Kanaan

At 11:00 AM on Friday, online video webinar.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies portend great changes for our already highly technological and digitized world. Dominance in AI research and development will undoubtedly unlock the next great global economic boom and force a major power shift among the world’s top economies. Such is the subject of T Minus AI: Humanity’s Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power by Michael Kanaan, the first AI chairperson serving at the U.S. Air Force and currently the Director of Operations for Air Force/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Artificial Intelligence. This event will feature a discussion with Kanaan and Lindsey R. Sheppard, Fellow, CSIS International Security Program.

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There are currently 1 Comment comments. Join the discussion.

  1. Pro Say August 24, 2020 5:33 pm

    . . . and while Congress vacations . . . and 2021 begins to come into focus . . . Alice / Mayo — including the CAFC’s and PTAB’s misapplication of such — continues to crush American innovation . . .

    “What, me worry?”

    — Alfred E. Neuman

    — SCOTUS

    — CAFC

    — PTAB

    — Congress

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