Hillicon Valley — US, Israel team up on tech
The Biden administration announced Wednesday it is partnering with Israel on a tech initiative focused on studying artificial intelligence and addressing climate change.
In other news, former President Trump slammed Elon Musk after the SpaceX and Tesla CEO said it is time for Trump “to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset.” He told Musk to instead focus on getting out of a potentially expensive lawsuit with Twitter.
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US partners with Israel on AI, climate
President Biden on Wednesday announced a new technological partnership with Israel focused on addressing climate change, studying artificial intelligence (AI) and countering the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The two countries will tackle the pandemic by facilitating research and development ventures and address climate change by studying and deploying new technologies.
- They also plan to study the emerging field of AI through the fields of transportation, medicine and agriculture.
The White House released a statement saying the new strategic tech partnership will involve interagency dialogue between the U.S. and Israel and that officials will meet annually, with the first meeting set to take place in the fall of this year.
Biden’s new deal comes amid his trip to the Middle East for high-stakes discussions with several world leaders as tensions soar in the region. Like other U.S. leaders, Biden has forged strong ties with Israel and its new prime minister, Yair Lapid.
Trump goes after Musk over Twitter deal
Former President Trump knocked Elon Musk after the Tesla executive said it is time for the former president “to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset,” with Trump telling Musk to instead focus on his legal battle with Twitter.
In several statements issued through Trump’s Truth Social, the former president suggested that he was the reason for many of Musk’s successes and claimed that the Tesla executive had told him he was a supporter of Trump’s.
- “When Elon Musk came to the White House asking me for help on all of his many subsidized projects, whether it’s electric cars that don’t drive long enough, driverless cars that crash, or rocketships to nowhere, without which subsidies he’d be worthless, and telling me how he was a big Trump fan and Republican, I could have said, ‘drop to your knees and beg,’ and he would have done it,” Trump asserted.
- “Now Elon should focus on getting himself out of the Twitter mess because he could owe $44 billion for something that’s perhaps worthless,” Trump continued in a separate post. “Also, lots of competition for electric cars!”
US OFFICIALS PUSH FOR SEMICONDUCTOR BILL
Two members of the Biden administration are warning of potential consequences if Congress fails to pass legislation aimed at investing in the semiconductor industry in the United States amid a major shortage.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressed a letter to the four top Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House, urging them to pass the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) in America Act.
“If these funds are not appropriated in the coming weeks, the United States will miss out on the current wave of semiconductor investment. Chip producers must make capital expenditure decisions now to meet the enormous increased demand,” the two said. “If we do not act, they will expand in countries that are already aggressively offering incentives, rather than here in the United States.”
AMAZON OFFERS VIDEOS TO POLICE WITHOUT PERMISSION
Amazon has provided footage from Ring video cameras to police without permission from owners or a court warrant 11 times this year, the company acknowledged in a letter to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
- Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, said in the letter dated July 1 that Ring complied with those requests from law enforcement after making a “good-faith determination” about risk.
- Markey had written to Ring last month asking the company to clarify its relationship with American police and to commit to some policy reforms, including never allowing immigration enforcement to request recordings and committing to not incorporating voice recognition tech into its products.
BITS & PIECES
An op-ed to chew on: What do the images from NASA’s Webb telescope tell us?
Notable links from around the web:
What to know as Elon Musk’s rocky deal with Twitter heads to court (The Washington Post / Rachel Lerman)
In a Post-Roe World, the Future of Digital Privacy Looks Even Grimmer (The New York Times / Natasha Singer and Brian X. Chen)
Biden’s spyware conundrum on Mideast trip (Politico / Maggie Miller)
👴 Lighter click: No ‘specific age to be happy’
One more thing: Tech giants face GLAAD backlash
Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube are failing to protect LGBTQ+ users, according to a new report from GLAAD, one of the largest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organizations.
- The findings are part of the organization’s social media safety index, which measures LGBTQ+ user safety among the world’s top platforms.
- Out of those five platforms, TikTok scored the lowest earning a measly 43 out of 100 for LGBTQ+ user safety, according to the report.
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