There are two types of public events here in DC. Those designed to actually educate people and those designed so that folks can display their talking points like dancing peacocks displaying their tail feathers to attract a mate. The Federal Communications Commission and National Science Foundation had a half-day workshop on July 13 to discuss the role of AI in telecom and — specifically — what is the FCC’s role here in promoting innovation and adoption of AI tools in telecom and what are the challenges the FCC should address. Happily, this event was of the educational kind and well worth watching if the intersection of AI and telecom is your thing. You can see the video here.
To forestall the usual panic and “regulation, we hates it precious!” response, I will point out that Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is a self-described optimist about the value of AI in telecom. You can see her opening remarks here. The event was very much about showcasing the positives of AI and pushing back on the current uncanny valley freakout driving the current policy discussions. I was invited to speak on the first panel, which focused on the current state of research and applications and how this fits into the FCC’s overall responsibilities for spectrum management and telecommunications network management. These are the remarks I prepared below. It didn’t quite come out this way (I appear on the video at about 57:30 for those interested in how it actually came out.