FCC To Launch $7.17 Billion Connectivity Fund Program

New Program Provides Funding to Schools and Libraries Critical to Closing the Homework Gap

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Far too often, students, teachers, and library patrons lack the access they need to broadband and connected devices. This need has become even more apparent during these unprecedented times,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC. “Between this Emergency Connectivity Fund Program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households. These investments will help more Americans access online education, healthcare, and employment resources. They will help close the Homework Gap for students nationwide and give so many more households the ability to connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”

The Report and Order adopted today establishes the rules and policies governing the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The new rules define eligible equipment and services, service locations, eligible uses, and reasonable support amounts for funding provided. It designates the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as the program administrator with FCC oversight, and leverages the processes and structures used in the ERate program for the benefit of schools and libraries already familiar with the E-Rate program. It also adopts procedures to protect the limited funding from waste, fraud, and abuse.

Recent estimates suggest there may be as many as 17 million children struggling without the broadband access they need for remote learning. The Acting Chairwoman has long made closing the Homework Gap a priority during her tenure at the Commission.

— Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Top photo: GettyImages


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BDPA-DC Welcomes new Training Scholarships for HBCU Seniors and Graduates Earning Industry Certifications with HOPE Project Online

WASHINGTON—The H.O.P.E. Project DMV (HOPE) is accepting applications for next semester’s online STEM certification offering of its renowned and award winning community information technology (IT) training and workforce development  program. Since 2009, HOPE has successfully launched exciting technology careers through programs uniquely designed to prepare students from ages 16-24 for mission-critical entry-level positions such as Helpdesk, Desktop, Service Management,  and Application support.

BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) in direct support of National BDPA’s mission and the association’s HBCU student member objectives, is partnering with HOPE to provide training and certification scholarships directly to HBCU students or recent HBCU graduates who are accepted into HOPE’s online training programs.  

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

About H.O.P.E. Project DMV

The H.O.P.E. Project (HOPE) mission is to empower students to reach their potential by providing a comprehensive information technology training program, designed for students out of high school and at least 18 years old. Since 2009 HOPE Project  has trained, coached, and mentored nearly 2,000 IT students that have an average salary of nearly $65,000 a year.  HOPE has helped students earn over 2,200 CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications.  These credentials have helped HOPE alumni build IT careers working as Cyber Security Engineers, Systems Administrators, Mobile Device Engineers, and IT Project Managers.  Visit: hopeprojectonline.com.

About BDPA-DC

The association’s global mission as outlined by National BDPA is to bridge digital divides across cyber security, information technology (IT) and telecommunications competency gaps while broadening outreach and awareness campaigns for computer, data science, and technical careers. Since 1978, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) has successfully presented Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) projects across the National Capital Region support career development and economic development through well blended and tailored series of student programs, industry outreach, community relations, and legislative affairs primarily for urban and underserved communities.   Visit: bdpadc.org.

— Photo courtesy: HOPE Project DMV

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T-Mobile Launches Project 10Million

Historic $10.7B Initiative is Aimed at Closing the Homework Gap and Connecting Students to Opportunity – for Free

BELLEVUE, WA—With the need for equitable access to the internet more crucial than ever, T-Mobile has zeroed in on a bold goal: helping every single unconnected student in the U.S. get access to the internet connectivity they need to learn. In a recent video posted last month, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced that the Un-carrier’s $10.7 billion Project 10Million commitment is taking a big step toward accomplishing this vision. The program is now live and available to school districts.

But T-Mobile didn’t stop there. In response to the unique learning challenges students are experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Un-carrier is expanding Project 10Million by giving school districts additional plan options with more data to best meet their students’ current needs.

T-Mobile previously committed to kick off Project 10Million once its merger with Sprint was complete, and now, as the supercharged Un-carrier, it is following through on that promise and putting its combined resources and network capacity to work. Through Project 10Million, T-Mobile is addressing the persistent homework gap experienced by more than 9 million children across the country who are unable to get online to complete at-home assignments. Project 10Million offers free wireless hotspots, up to 100GB per year of free high-speed data, and access to at-cost tablets and laptops, or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household.

Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was a homework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.

To address this urgent need, the Un-carrier has expanded Project 10Million by allowing participating school districts to apply the value of the free program to one of two new plans with MORE data. Schools can choose a 100GB per month option or a fully unlimited plan. The best part is that every district gets free wireless hotspots and access to at-cost laptops and tablets, and they have the flexibility to pick the solution that works best for their district. And it’s all still free to students. Interested school districts may sign anytime with T-Mobile at www.t-mobile.com/p10m.

“Education is the great leveler, but without internet access, kids will be left behind. T-Mobile has a big goal – to deliver connectivity to every child who needs it across the U.S. Starting now with our historic Project 10Million commitment, we’re going to help open A LOT of doors to opportunity that might have previously been closed,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “This issue is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted learning for many from the classroom to online. Big issues need big solutions, and that’s exactly why we’re not just launching but significantly enhancing Project 10Million and giving flexibility to educators so they can best address the unique needs of their students with plans that offer more data. As the supercharged Un-carrier, we now have the resources and network capacity to deliver reliable connectivity to students across the U.S. — and to tackle the critical homework gap and the schoolwork gap head-on!”

As classroom learning continues to shift to online learning, the need for internet connectivity is growing. It’s a problem T-Mobile has been working on closely with schools, state governments and technology partners since the pandemic started.

The expanded reach and capacity of T-Mobile’s network plays a crucial role in the Un-carrier’s ability to make reliable connectivity truly accessible to students across the U.S. This includes those in urban centers as well as underserved areas like rural America, where 1.7 million households do not have high-speed home internet service. Future Project 10Million recipients will also benefit from T-Mobile’s expanded 5G over time with faster speeds and even broader coverage.

Project 10Million builds on T-Mobile’s — and Sprint’s — longstanding focus on education and connecting students. Prior to merging in April 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint had already connected nearly half a million students, and as COVID-19 started to impact schools, the combined company stepped up its efforts. Since March 2020, T-Mobile has connected over 1.6 million students in more than 3,100 school districts across the country. This includes the company’s part in New York City’s plan to connect more than 350,000 students with iPads and data when classes resume virtually. And the Un-carrier has partnered with the California Department of Education and Apple to connect up to another 1 million students as schools across the state prepare to start the next school year virtually.

“Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint have worked hand-in-hand with school districts, state governments and technology partners to bring connectivity solutions to those who need it most, connecting more than 1.6 million students in less than six months,” said Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “During the pandemic, we’ve had countless conversations with school districts and educators. We’ve consistently heard that they need more options that fit the unique needs of their students. We have expanded Project 10Million to tap into T-Mobile’s network resources and capacity, and take our support of educators and students to a whole new level. We’re going to make a HUGE difference for millions of students!”

Project 10Million is the third and final component of the Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments that the company announced before its merger with Sprint was approved. Since the completion of the merger, the company has now launched all three commitments, which also include Connecting Heroes and T-Mobile Connect.

Source: T-Mobile U.S. Inc.

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Cisco Unveils Plan for Building Internet for the Next Decade of Digital Innovation

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Cisco today unveiled further details behind its technology strategy for building a new internet — one designed to push digital innovation beyond the performance, economic and power consumption limitations of current infrastructure. A multi-year approach that is defining the Internet for decades to come, Cisco’s strategy is already delivering technology breakthroughs to pave the way for the world’s developers to create applications and services they have only begun to imagine.

Cisco introduced its latest innovation including Cisco Silicon OneTM, the industry’s only networking silicon architecture of its kind; released the new Cisco 8000 Series, the world’s most powerful carrier class routers built on the new silicon; and announced new purchasing options that enable customers to consume the company’s technology through disaggregated business models.

“Innovation requires focused investment, the right team and a culture that values imagination,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “We are dedicated to transforming the industry to build a new internet for the 5G era. Our latest solutions in silicon, optics and software represent the continued innovation we’re driving that helps our customers stay ahead of the curve and create new, ground-breaking experiences for their customers and end users for decades to come.”

Building Blocks for the Internet for the Future

Over the next decade, digital experiences will be created with advanced technologies — virtual and augmented reality, 16K streaming, AI, 5G, 10G, quantum computing, adaptive and predictive cybersecurity, intelligent IOT, and others not yet invented. These future generations of applications will drive complexity beyond the capabilities current internet infrastructure can viably support.

For the past five years, Cisco has driven a technology strategy that is building the internet our customers will need for the future success of their business in an advanced digital world. Aimed at solving the toughest problems that will emerge as digital transformation taxes current infrastructure to its breaking point, this strategy will lead to the next-generation of internet infrastructure that combines Cisco’s new silicon architecture with its next-generation of optics. Cisco’s strategy will change the economics behind how the internet will be built to support the demands of future, digital applications and will enable customers to operate their businesses with simpler, more cost-effective networks.

Cisco’s strategy is based on development and investments in three key technology areas: silicon, optics and software.

“Pushing the boundaries of innovation to the next level — far beyond what we experience today — is critical for the future and we believe silicon, optics and software are the technology levers that will deliver this outcome,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of the Networking and Security Business at Cisco. “Cisco’s technology strategy is not about the next-generation of a single product area. We have spent the past several years investing in whole categories of independent technologies that we believe will converge in the future — and ultimately will allow us to solve the hardest problems on the verge of eroding the advancement of digital innovation. This strategy is delivering the most ambitious development project the company has ever achieved.”

Introducing Cisco Silicon One – Breakthrough Unified, Programmable Silicon Architecture

The new Cisco Silicon One will be the foundation of Cisco’s routing portfolio going forward, with expected near-term performance availability up to 25 Terabits per second (Tbps). This is the industry’s first networking chip designed to be universally adaptable across service provider and web-scale markets. Designed for both fixed and modular platforms, it can manage the most challenging requirements in a way that’s never been done before. The first Cisco Silicon One ‘Q100’ model surpasses the 10 Tbps routing milestone for network bandwidth without sacrificing programmability, buffering, power efficiency, scale or feature flexibility.

Traditionally, multiple types of silicon with different capabilities are used across a network and even within a single device. Developing new features and testing can be lengthy and expensive. Unified and programmable silicon will allow for network operators to greatly reduce costs of operations and reduce time-to-value for new services.

“We look forward to working with Cisco as it enters the high-end routing silicon space, collaborating to help meet the next generation of network demands for higher speeds and greater capacity,” said Amin Vahdat, fellow and vice president of Systems Infrastructure, Google Cloud.

“Facebook has been a strong advocate for network disaggregation and open ecosystems, launching key industry initiatives such as the Open Compute Project and the Telecom Infrastructure Project to transform the networking industry,” said Najam Ahmad, vice president, Network Engineering at Facebook. “Cisco’s new Silicon One architecture is aligned with this vision, and we believe this model offers network operators diverse and flexible options through a disaggregated approach.”

“Cisco is changing the economics of powering the Internet, innovating across hardware, software, optics and silicon to help its customers better manage the operational costs to function on a larger scale for the next phase of the Internet,” said Ray Mota, CEO and principal analyst at ACG Research. “As we move to 2020, the timing of delivering operational efficiency will be vital.”

Introducing: Cisco 8000 Series Platform Powered by Cisco Silicon One– Industry Leading Performance

The new Cisco 8000 series is the first platform built with Cisco Silicon One Q100. It is engineered to help service providers and web-scale companies reduce the costs of building and operating mass-scale networks for the 5G, AI and IOT era. Standout features include:

  • Optimized for 400 Gbps and beyond, starting at 10.8 Tbps in just a single rack unit
  • Powered by the new, cloud-enhanced Cisco IOS XR7 networking operating system software, designed to simplify operations and lower operational costs
  • Offers enhanced cybersecurity with integrated trust technology for real-time insights into the trustworthiness of your critical infrastructure
  • Service providers gain more bandwidth scale and programmability to deliver Tbps in even the most power and space constrained network locations

Global Customer Deployments and Trials

Cisco is working with a group of pioneering customers on deployments and trials of the Cisco 8000 Series. STC, the leading telecom services provider in the Middle East, Northern Africa region, marks the first customer deploying the new technology. Ongoing trials include Comcast and NTT Communications among others.

Optics for 400G and Beyond

Building a new internet that can support future digital innovation will depend on continued breakthroughs in silicon and optics technologies. Cisco is unique in the industry with advanced intellectual property in both areas.

As port rates increase from 100G to 400G and beyond, optics become an increasingly larger portion of the cost to build and operate internet infrastructure. Cisco is investing organically to assure our customers that as router and switch port rates continue to increase, optics will be designed to meet the industry’s stringent reliability and quality standards.

Through the company’s qualification program, Cisco will test its optics to comply with industry standards and operate in Cisco – and non-Cisco hosts. With this program, customers can utilize Cisco optics in applications where non-Cisco hosts have been deployed and have confidence that the optics will meet the reliability and quality standards that they have come to expect from Cisco.

In addition, as silicon and silicon photonics advance, functions that were traditionally delivered in separate chassis-based solutions will soon be available in pluggable form factors. This transition has significant potential benefits for network operators in terms of operational simplicity. Cisco is investing in silicon photonics technologies to effect architectural transitions in datacenter networks and service provider networks that will drive down cost, reduce power and space, and simplify network operations.

Changing the Economics of the Internet with Flexible Business Models

Cisco also announced plans to offer flexible consumption models first established with Cisco’s Optics portfolio, followed by the disaggregation of the Cisco IOS XR7 software, and now including Cisco Silicon One. This new model is highly adaptable and offers customers choice of components, white box, or integrated systems to build their networks. This approach matches the evolving nature of operators selecting discrete or aggregated technology elements for their buildout and creates new economics of the Internet to provide significant business value.

Source: CISCO

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hsv2020tech

Larry Irving inducted into 2019 Internet Hall of Fame

SAN JOSE, COASTA RICA — The Internet Hall of Fame announced last week the names of eleven pioneers and visionaries who have made outstanding contributions to the Internet’s global growth, reach, and security. The new inductees were honored at a special ceremony held in the Costa Rican capital.

Larry Irving, from the United States, was the driving force behind the identification of the Digital Divide in the U.S, igniting global interests in the issue. In this video shown above, he shares new and untold insights from his career and interests.  The former NTIA head is credited with coining term ‘Digital Divide’ and becomes the first African American inducted into the Society’s Hall of Fame.

This year’s inductees have joined other Internet luminaries in the Internet Hall of Fame. They have helped shape today’s Internet by expanding its reach into new regions and communities, pioneering a greater understanding of the way the Internet works, and enhancing security to increase user trust in the network.

Inductees for 2019 are:

  • Adiel Akplogan (Africa) advanced Internet development in Togo and across Africa, and served as founding CEO of the Regional Internet Registry for Africa
  • Kimberly Claffy (United States) pioneered the field of Internet data collection, measurement and analysis
  • Douglas Comer (United States) wrote the first series of authoritative textbooks explaining the scientific principles of the Internet’s design and its communications protocols
  • Elise Gerich (United States) was instrumental in the transition of the NSFNET to the modern-day Internet and of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions from stewardship of the U.S. government to a multistakeholder community
  • Larry Irving (United States) was a driving force behind the identification of the Digital Divide in the U.S, igniting global interest in the issue
  • Dan Lynch (United States) drove adoption of TCP/IP protocols and played a key role in driving the Internet towards a commercial network
  • Jean Armour Polly (United States) pioneered free Internet access in public libraries
  • José Soriano (Peru) was a leader in bringing the Internet to Peru and designed a replicable “public Internet” model
  • Michael Stanton (Brazil) was instrumental in bringing the Internet to Brazil, and continues to participate in the design and deployment of scalable optical networks in South America and around the world
  • Klaas Wierenga (Netherlands) invented eduroam, an international Wi-Fi roaming service for academic and research communities in over 100 countries
  • Suguru Yamaguchi (Japan) was a cybersecurity research pioneer and global leader in its deployment; founded Asia Pacific broadband Internet research and educational network project via satellite

“The Internet’s design has always enabled people to see a problem, and get to work on solving it,” noted Andrew Sullivan, Internet Society President and CEO. “This year’s inductees have given us all great gifts of their creative approaches to issues they saw on the Internet. We can take inspiration from them to tackle the next round of challenges.”

This year’s ceremony marks the first time the awards will be held in Latin America since the program’s inception in 2012. Costa Rica was selected to host the event for the strong example it has set in employing a collaborative approach to Internet governance, and the systematic steps it has taken to close the country’s digital divide.

The Internet Hall of Fame recognizes individuals worldwide who have played an extraordinary role in the conceptualization, building, and development of the global Internet. In addition to those who have been more visible, it recognizes those who have made crucial, behind-the-scenes contributions. Inductees are selected by an Advisory Board of past inductees who guide the long-term planning and direction of the program.

— Source: The Internet Society
Photo and video credits:
Elon University

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APL’s Chief of Intelligent Systems Weighs in on Artificial Intelligence

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BALTIMORE, MD—As chief of the Intelligent Systems Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Maryland, Ashley Llorens is at the nexus of efforts to develop a technology road map and engagement strategy for establishing the Laboratory as a nationally recognized leader and trusted partner in artificial intelligence (AI). His recent appointments to three advisory boards not only have placed the Laboratory at the table with the best minds in AI, he said, but also give APL “the opportunity to contribute to the national discourse around AI while helping to guide our sponsors’ thinking and investments in this emerging area of focus.”

Llorens is one of 22 former senior government officials, industry leaders and academic experts tapped to form the Center for a New American Security’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and National Security. Co-chaired by former Deputy Secretary of Defense and APL Senior Fellow Bob Work, and Andrew Moore, head of Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence, the group is examining how the United States should respond to national security challenges posed by artificial intelligence.

Llorens said the task force is part of a larger CNAS effort to explore how the AI revolution could lead to changes in security, global power and the character of conflict. Its members include Jason Matheny, former director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity; Jack Clark, policy director at Open AI; and Tuomas Sandholm, who leads Carnegie Mellon University’s AI initiatives.

“It’s an honor to engage with the top thinkers in the field, and to take the opportunity to articulate the unique needs that the Department of Defense has in terms of technology and policy — to represent APL as a trusted voice,” Llorens said. “It’s also giving us an early look at emerging trends in academia and Silicon Valley.”      Read more

Sources and photo credits:
The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University

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“>#BDPACON19 | August 1-3, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

Comcast Buys AI-Based Cyber Tech Developer BluVector

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Comcast has purchased Arlington, Va.-based cybersecurity firm BluVector for an undisclosed sum.

BlueVector_logo_20190305BluVector develops and provides platforms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning designed to help government agencies and companies detect and address zero-day malware, ransomware and other cyber threats, Comcast said Friday.

Eric Malawer, a more than 20-year technology industry veteran, will serve as CEO of BluVector and lead the company’s growth efforts as part of Comcast.

“We’re thrilled that BluVector is part of Comcast and are excited to support its continued growth, even as we explore new opportunities to leverage BluVector technology and expertise,” said Don Mathis, general manager of growth at Comcast.

Kris Lovejoy, founding CEO of BluVector, will continue to serve as consultant and adviser to Comcast and BluVector.

Noopur Davis, chief information security officer at Comcast, will oversee efforts to identify opportunities to support new offerings and programs through the combined expertise and technologies of both firms.

Source and photos: Comcast

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Accelerating America’s Leadership in Artificial Intelligence

“Continued American leadership in Artificial Intelligence is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States.”

President Donald J. Trump

The White House logo

WHITE HOUSE (02.11.19) — In his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump stressed the importance of investing in the cutting-edge Industries of the Future. Emerging technologies are driving the creation of the Industries of the Future, and none more so than artificial intelligence (AI). AI technologies are transforming nearly every area of our lives, from transportation to healthcare to education to security. Even now at the earliest stages of commercializing these technologies, we have seen the power and potential of AI to support workers, diagnose diseases, and improve our national security.

Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and international leaders in AI. However, as the pace of AI innovation increases around the world, we cannot sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed. We must ensure that advances in AI remain fueled by American ingenuity, reflect American values, and are applied for the benefit of the American people.

The American AI Initiative 

Today, President Trump is doing just that by signing an Executive Order launching the American AI Initiative. This Initiative will focus the resources of the Federal government to develop AI in order to increase our Nation’s prosperity, enhance our national and economic security, and improve quality of life for the American people. This initiative takes a multi-pronged approach to accelerating our national leadership in AI, and includes five key areas of emphasis:

1. Investing in AI Research and Development (R&D)

The initiative focuses on maintaining our Nation’s strong, long-term emphasis on high-reward, fundamental R&D in AI by directing Federal agencies to prioritize AI investments in their R&D missions. These investments will strengthen and leverage America’s unique and vibrant R&D ecosystem of industry, academia, and government, and prioritize Federal AI spending on cutting-edge ideas that can directly benefit the American people.

2. Unleashing AI Resources

The initiative directs agencies to make Federal data, models, and computing resources more available to America’s AI R&D experts, researchers, and industries to foster public trust and increase the value of these resources to AI R&D experts, while maintaining the safety, security, civil liberties, privacy, and confidentiality protections we all expect. This action will drive our top-notch AI research toward new technological breakthroughs and promote scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security. These efforts will work in concert with the President’s Management Agenda and implementing the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary, (OPEN) Government Data Act.

3. Setting AI Governance Standards

As part of the American AI Initiative, Federal agencies will foster public trust in AI systems by establishing guidance for AI development and use across different types of technology and industrial sectors. This guidance will help Federal regulatory agencies develop and maintain approaches for the safe and trustworthy creation and adoption of new AI technologies. This initiative also calls for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of appropriate technical standards for reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems.

4. Building the AI Workforce

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To prepare our workforce with the skills needed to adapt and thrive in this new age of AI, the American AI Initiative calls for agencies to prioritize fellowship and training programs to help American workers gain AI-relevant skills through apprenticeships, skills programs, fellowships, and education in computer science and other growing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. This action will help educate the AI R&D workforce our Nation needs to create and embrace new AI technologies.

5. International Engagement and Protecting our AI Advantage

Capitol domeThe Trump Administration is committed to promoting an international environment that supports AI R&D and opens markets for American AI industries while also ensuring that the technology is developed in a manner consistent with our Nation’s values and interests. Federal agencies will also develop and implement an action plan to protect the advantage of the United States in AI and technology critical to United States national and economic security interests against strategic competitors and foreign adversaries.

The American AI Initiative is accelerating our Nation’s leadership in AI. By driving technological breakthroughs in AI, breaking barriers to AI innovation, preparing our workforce for the jobs of the future, and protecting America’s advantage in AI we are ensuring that AI technologies continue to improve the lives of our people, create jobs, reflect our Nation’s values, and keep Americans safe at home and abroad.

— Source: The White House

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Microsoft and In3 host a STEM Open House for Parents and Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today in our Nation’s Capital near Howard University, the Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) and Blacks@Microsoft (BAM) invited area students to learn about new and exciting STEM workshops In3 will be hosting in 2019.

IMG_3173Local BDPA Student Members and NSBE Jr. Members who attended met Microsoft employees and small business executives to discuss and learn more about:

  • How to write code for computers and robots using Minecraft and OhBots (8+ years old)
  • An intro to Computer Science using Java (Middle School and beyond)
  • ManCode: The Microsoft career day program for young males (Middle and High School)

Microsoft believes their continued success depends on the diverse skills, experiences, and backgrounds employees bring to the company. To help foster diversity and inclusion, Microsoft has developed a very rich community of Employee Resource Groups (ERG) and Employee Networks (EN). These organizations provide career development, support, networking opportunities, mentoring, community participation such as this weekend’s Open House, product input, and assistance in activities that continue to promote cultural awareness. Their programs also include speaker series, scholarship programs, community service, development conferences, and heritage celebrations.

Founded in 1989 as the first Microsoft-sponsored ERG, Blacks@Microsoft host career speaker series, employee mentoring programs, college intern mentoring programs, minority student days, and a scholarship program for high school seniors with GPAs of 3.33 or higher.

For more information about BDPA and Microsoft in 2019, student computer and coding competition programs, or career development activities across the National Capital Region with BDPADC and In3, visit → BDPADC.org.

— Source: BDPA Greater Washington, D.C.

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Fidelity Labs Tests Digital Asset Wallet

BOSTON, MA — As digital assets continue to proliferate, they are becoming much more widely accepted. Should a person’s digital asset holdings be a part of their overall financial picture? In an effort to find out, Fidelity Labs, the research and development (R&D) and innovation unit of Fidelity Investments, launched an experiment with digital assets, accessible by the majority of Fidelity customer households across the country with Coinbase® wallet accounts.

coinbase-logoFor this test, Fidelity Labs partnered with Coinbase, a well-known digital wallet and digital asset exchange platform. Individual customers can now authorize Coinbase to provide Fidelity with data on holdings in their Coinbase wallet accounts so that customers can view their Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin balances alongside other accounts in their Fidelity Portfolio Summary views on their Fidelity.com portals.

“Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies are emerging from their infancy but mass adoption is still many years away. And don’t underestimate their disruptive nature. Just as many other technologies have done in the past, Bitcoin and blockchain will transform how we manage our finances,” said Hadley Stern, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Fidelity Labs.

Source and images — Coinbase and Fidelity Labs

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