The OpenAI corporate drama came to a sudden end last week. So sudden, in fact, that the pundits never quite figured out What It All Means. Jim Dempsey and Michael Nelson take us through some of the possibilities: It was all about AI accelerationists v. decelerationists. Or it was all about effective altruism. Or maybe it was Sam Altman's slippery ambition. Or perhaps a new AI breakthrough – a model that can actually do more math than the average American law student. The one thing that seems clear is that the winners include Sam Altman and Microsoft, while the losers include illusions about using corporate governance to ensure AI governance.
The Google antitrust trial is over – kind of. Michael Weiner tells us that all the testimony and evidence has been gathered on whether Google is monopolizing search, but briefs and argument will take a few months more – followed by years of more fighting about remedy if Google is found to have violated the antitrust laws. He sums up the issues in dispute and makes a bold prediction about the outcome, all in about ten minutes.
Returning to AI, Jim and Michael Nelson dissect the latest position statement from Germany, France, and Italy. They see it as a repudiation of the increasingly kludgey AI Act pinballing its way through Brussels, and a big step in the direction of the "light touch" AI regulation that is being adopted elsewhere around the globe. I suggest that the AI Act be redesignated the OBE Act in recognition of how thoroughly and frequently it's been overtaken by events.
Meanwhile, cyberwar is posing an increasing threat to civil aviation. Michael Ellis covers the surprising ways in which GPS spoofing has begun to render even redundant air navigation tools unreliable. Iran and Israel come in for scrutiny. And it won't be long before Russia and Ukraine deploy similarly disruptive drone and counterdrone technology. It turns out that Russia is likely ahead of the U.S. in this war-changing technology. That's according to China, which is following the field as closely as the Nazis followed air combat in the Spanish Civil War.
Jim brings us up to date on the latest cybersecurity amendments from New York's department of financial services. On the whole, they look incremental and mostly sensible.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is digging deep into his Golden Oldies collection, sending a letter to the White House expressing shock at his discovery of a law enforcement data program that the New York Times (and the rest of us) discovered in 2013. The program allows law enforcement to get call data but not content from AT&T with a subpoena. The only quasi-surprise here is that AT&T has kept this data for much longer than the industry-standard of two or three years and that federal funds have helped pay for the storage.
Michael Nelson, on his way to India for cyber policy talks, touts that nation's creative approach to the field, as highlighted in Carnegie's series on India and technology. He's less impressed by the UK's enthusiasm for massive new legislative tech initiatives. I argue that this is Prime Minister Rishi Sunak trying to show that Brexit really did give the UK new running room to the right of Brussels on data protection and law enforcement authority.
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