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Showing posts with the label The Technology 202.

Analysis | The Technology 202 | EU's top competition cop says Amazon probe in 'quite advanced' stage

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By Cat Zakrzewski Cat Zakrzewski Technology 11-14 minutes Ctrl + N European Union Commissioner Margrethe Vestager speaks at South by Southwest. (Erik Carlson/ATX Video Marketing) AUSTIN — The European Union’s top competition cop says her preliminary investigation into Amazon’s data practices is in “quite advanced” stages. Margrethe Vestager — who has emerged as the world’s toughest Big Tech regulator — is racing against the clock to determine whether to bring a formal antitrust case against the e-commerce giant before her term as commissioner ends in October. Her team is probing whether Amazon uses the data it collects from businesses that sell products on its platform to inform its own product sales and undercut its competitors.  (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.) “Since it’s not given that I can continue for the commissioner for competition, I would like to take more decisive steps befor

Analysis | The Technology 202: Pentagon promises to make ethics a priority in first AI strategy

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By Cat Zakrzewski Cat Zakrzewski  14-17 minutes Ctrl + N The Pentagon building on Dec. 26, 2011. (AFP photo staff/AFP/Getty Images) The Pentagon is committing to prioritize ethics and safety as it ramps up its use of artificial intelligence.  It's a pledge that could ease some of the concerns tech workers at Silicon Valley companies  have raised about building powerful AI tools for warfare .  As the Pentagon on Tuesday  laid out its first AI strategy  yesterday to counter a surge of investment in the technology by China and Russia, it promised to work with industry leaders to "advance AI ethics and safety in the military context." The Pentagon also promised to "articulate its vision and guiding principles for using AI in a lawful and ethical manner to promote our values." The decision to make this a core part of its strategy indicates the Pentagon has taken notice of the warnings that top technologists like E

Analysis | The Technology 202: Trump gives almost no air time to technology in State of the Union address

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By Cat Zakrzewski Cat Zakrzewski  16-20 minutes Ctrl + N President Trump delivers the State of the Union address in Washington on Feb. 5. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) President Trump's nod to the tech industry in the State of the Union was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment. He didn't mention the word “technology” once in his 90-minute address .  He devoted less than a sentence to promise “investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future” in his push to overhaul the country's infrastructure.   In a statement released during the speech, a White House aide fleshed out that vague reference — outlining the administration’s commitment to artificial intelligence and other key tech topics that never got a name-check during Tuesday’s main event. “The Industries of the Future will be powered by the technological advances of today,” Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president for technology policy, said

Analysis | The Technology 202: Trump wants a border wall. One of his biggest supporters in tech is expanding a virtual one.

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By Cat Zakrzewski Cat Zakrzewski  18-22 minutes Ctrl + N The border fence between Mexico and the United States in Nogales, Ariz., on Jan. 17. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is held up in a political stalemate with congressional Democrats . But one of Trump’s most prominent supporters in the tech industry tells me virtual border security is already here — and rapidly expanding. Palmer Luckey's company, Anduril Industries , is deploying a security system along the border designed to detect illegal crossings, using towers equipped with radar sensors and cameras, as well as artificial intelligence to spot abnormalities human eyes might miss. His company is expanding its systems in California this month under a contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  The focus here in Washington is on Trump's call for a physical wall — especially as the president