News Highlights, May 19th

Tech Stuff

Montana becomes first state to ban TikTok after governor signs bill into law. by Doha Madani, May 17th.

The law is likely to face challenges in court arguing it restricts free speech, but Gianforte praised the bill’s privacy protections.

The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” Gianforte said in a news release, calling the law “the most decisive action of any state.”

Pretty interesting. Wondering how it will play out. Wondering how many Tokers there are in Montana who are freaking out today?

Regulating AI

Days after OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified in front of Congress and proposed creating a new federal agency to regulate artificial intelligence, a US senator has introduced a bill to do just that.

On Thursday, Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet unveiled an updated version of legislation he introduced last year that would establish a Federal Digital Platform Commission.source

In October, 2022 the White House Office of Science & Tech released a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights. “The document provides an important framework for how government, technology companies, and citizens can work together to ensure more accountable AI. The document provides an important framework for how government, technology companies, and citizens can work together to ensure more accountable AI.” source

Here’s a decent article on Understanding the US ‘AI Bill of Rights’ – and how it can help keep AI Accountable (Oct 14, 2022)

Then back in January, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California introduced a bill that was written by ChatGPT. At that time he used it to introduce a nonbinding measure that would direct the House to take a look at AI. source

Colorado US Senator Michael Bennet introduced his Digital Platform Commission Act this month. You can read the text of it here. Here is the summary (source)

  • Establish a five member federal commission empowered to hold hearings, pursue investigations, conduct research, and engage in public rule-making to establish rules of the road for digital platforms to promote competition and protect consumers, for example, from addicting design features or biased algorithms.
  • Empower the Commission to designate “systemically important digital platforms” subject to extra oversight, reporting, and regulation.
  • Create a Code Council of technical experts and representatives from industry and civil society to offer specific technical standards, behavioral codes, and other policies to the Commission for consideration.
  • Direct the Commission to support and coordinate with existing antitrust and consumer protection federal bodies to ensure efficient and effective use of federal resources.

Are you impressed yet?

I suppose it’s a whole lot of positioning in order to try and do something but I don’t think they’ll be doing very much, not when and or if it constrains corporations from making a profit from their tech. Corps rule supreme in the USA. I can hear them scuttling around already get their lobbyists in place. It looks good, politically, though. Doesn’t it?

And as for OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who testified “I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong”, along with IBM chief privacy and trust officer Christina Montgomery and NYU prof Gary Marcus. They all claim, “We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening.”

You know what that sounds like to me… It’s on y’all to fix this.


Peter Gabriel i/o Tour

Just yesterday PG introduced the band for his i/o tour. The tour will begin in Kraków, Poland on 18 May and continue through October in the UK, Europe and North America. Last date in the USA is Oct 21 in Houston at the Toyota Center. I looked at getting a ticket but prices were a blistering $98 to $820! Even the $98 ended up being $130 after fees. And, of course, that was nose bleed. I’m just not that keen for it anymore. But I do love PG, and I’m a huge fan of Tony Levin as well. Saw him in Woodstock, NY many times. Tiny audiences relatively speaking. Once, at the Woodstock Guitar Fest there were less than 20 people in the venue. No lie. I’ve spoke with him and his brother at an Uncle Funk event in Keegan Ales in Kingston, NY. Such lovely unassuming men. Anyway, here’s PG introducing the band, follow him on YouTube for all the dets.

ALOBOI New Release

One of my favorites, Aloboi, has dropped something new which can be had on Bandcamp here.

“This collaboration is close to my heart. It is my first joint release since the pandemic. I’m excited to have teamed up with Ark White, whom I met at his concert in Berlin. His unique vocal quality and chill attitude inspired me. Working together after years of isolation is challenging, but the result is a perfect blend of our styles.”

He’d alerted us on his DISCORD channel that it was coming.