This Week in Washington IP: NASA’s Moon Mission, Protecting Internet Consumers and Fintech AI Innovations

Washington dc, capital city of the united states. national capitol building.This week in Washington, D.C., subcommittees in the House of Representatives will hold a series of technology-related hearings focused on online competition in data privacy, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing in the financial sector, Internet consumer protections and NASA’s goal to speed up the return of a manned mission to the moon. The House Investigations Subcommittee will also hold a field hearing outside of D.C. exploring innovation in lead mitigation employed within the state of New Jersey. Elsewhere in D.C., the R Street Institute will discuss their theory on the national security implications of patents, the Brookings Institution will look at the impact of digital technologies on African entrepreneurship and the American Enterprise Institute hosts an event exploring the impact of globalization and robotic innovation on the workforce.

Tuesday, October 15 

House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight 

Field Hearing: Addressing the Lead Crisis Through Innovation & Technology

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday at the Early Childhood Center at Forest Glen, Gymnasium, 280 Davey St., Bloomfield, NJ 07003.

Consumer-facing lead-screening tools, continuous monitoring sensors and the use of big data in digital environmental signaling are some of the technological solutions that have been proposed in order to address issues of lead exposure from environmental sources across the country. Recently, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled a state-wide strategy to mitigate lead exposure from paint, plumbing and soil sources. The first witness panel at this hearing in Bloomfield, NJ, will include the Honorable Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., County Executive, Essex County, New Jersey; the Honorable Joseph Scarpelli, Mayor of Nutley, New Jersey; and the Honorable Michael Venezia, Mayor of Bloomfield, New Jersey. The hearing’s second witness panel will include Dr. Diane Calello, Executive and Medical Director, New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers University; Dr. Marc Edwards, University Distinguished Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Michael Ramos, Chief Engineer, Chicago Public Schools, and Inventor, the Noah Auto Flushing Device for Lead Mitigation; and Dr. Eric Roy, Founder, Hydroviv.

R Street Institute

National Security Implications of Patents

At 12:00 PM on Tuesday at the Capitol Visitor Center, SVC 215, Washington, D.C.

The R Street Institute will hold a panel discussion in which they will use Huawei’s assertion of more than 200 patents against Verizon in July to “pose that these arduous patents are a means by which to slow and inhibit American companies from achieving success in the race to 5G and continued leadership in AI.” Read Gene Quinn’s view on their theory here.

American Enterprise Institute

The Globotics Upheaval: A Book Event With Richard Baldwin

At 5:00 PM on Tuesday at American Enterprise Institute, Auditorium, 1789 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Author Richard Baldwin’s 2019 book The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work explores concerns that innovation and globalization will render a large swath of the workforce unemployed which technological change occurring at a faster pace than many in the labor force can adapt. After opening remarks from Baldwin, he’ll join a discussion panel including Harry Holzer of Georgetown University and Michael Strain of AEI. The discussion will be moderated by Brent Orrell of AEI.

Wednesday, October 16 

House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies 

NASA’s Proposal to Advance the Next Moon Landing by Four Years

At 9:45 AM on Wednesday in 2362-B Rayburn House Office Building.

While NASA’s original plans to return to manned space missions contemplated returning Americans to the surface of the moon in 2028, a new project timeline issued this March advanced those plans by four years and the agency is now targeting a 2024 lunar landing. The witness panel at this hearing will include Kenneth Bowersox, Acting Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, NASA; and James Bridenstine, Administrator, NASA.

House Subcommittees on Energy and Commerce, Communications and Technology, and Consumer Protection and Commerce

Fostering a Healthier Internet to Protect Consumers

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2123 Rayburn.

A 2019 Anti-Defamation League survey indicated that 37 percent of Americans have experienced severe online harassment and, while much of this harassment stems from content posted on social media websites, such websites are immune to liability for third-party content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The witness panel for this hearing will include Steve Huffman, Co-Founder and CEO, Reddit; Danielle Keats Citron, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law; Corynne McSherry, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Hany Farid, Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Katherine Oyama, Global Head of Intellectual Property Policy, Google, Inc.; and Gretchen Peters, Executive Director, Alliance to Counter Crime Online.

House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit 

Examining the Future of Transportation Network Companies: Challenges and Opportunities 

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2167 Rayburn.

Issues of traffic congestion and the effect of fuel emissions on air quality have increased lawmakers’ focus on ways to encourage the growth of transportation network companies, including both ride-hailing and ride-sharing service providers, in urban areas across the country. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Thursday, October 17

The Brookings Institution 

The Future of Work in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges of Digital Technologies

At 4:00 PM on Thursday at the Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Room, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Developing economies across Africa have become increasingly digitized at a rapid pace and technology adoption holds the promise of revolutionizing African workforces if regulators can focus on enabling entrepreneurship, enhancing productivity and extending social protection coverage. Introductory remarks at this event will be offered by Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, and Director, Africa Growth Initiative; and Jean-Claude Tchatchouang, Executive Director, World Bank. A World Bank report on the impact of digital technologies on the future of Africa’s workforce will be presented by Mark Andrew Dutz, Lead Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, Africa Region, World Bank; and Zainab Usman, Social Scientist, Office of the Chief Economist, Africa Region, World Bank. The presentation will be followed by a discussion with a panel including Jieun Choi, Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, Africa Region, World Bank; Mary Hallward-Driemeier, Senior Economic Adviser, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation, World Bank; Tricia Williams, Thematic Research Lead, MasterCard Foundation; Lemma Senbet, William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance, Director of Center for Financial Policy, University of Maryland; and moderated by Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa, World Bank.

Friday, October 18 

House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law 

Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 3: The Role of Data and Privacy in Competition

At 9:00 AM on Friday in 2141 Rayburn.

This is the third hearing by the House Antitrust Subcommittee regarding competition issues in online platforms. Since the European Union’s passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), American politicians have shown a growing interest in enacting stricter consumer data privacy laws at the federal level. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

House Task Force on Artificial Intelligence

AI and the Evolution of Cloud Computing: Evaluating How Financial Data is Stored, Protected, and Maintained by Cloud Providers

At 9:30 AM on Friday in 2128 Rayburn.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science are becoming increasingly prized by financial sector companies as evidenced by a 60 percent increase in job positions requiring AI-related skills over the past year. Many banks are also pursuing cloud computing activities as only 3 percent of banks surveyed by Accenture didn’t have a cloud strategy and hadn’t begun thinking of implementing one. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.


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