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The US Week Ahead: CES to highlight role of regulators in tech

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The US Week Ahead: CES to highlight role of regulators in tech

CES, one of the most influential global technology conferences, will take the spotlight in the media, telecom and technology sectors this week in Las Vegas.

Smart solutions, with a focus on artificial intelligence, are expected to be featured in keynotes. With 5G technology, the new mobile standard that promises low latencies, high speeds and spectrum efficiencies, bursting onto the scene, companies such as Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. also could address the results of their 5G tests in their respective keynotes.

Government officials join dialogue

Amidst the discussions about these nascent technologies and consumer products, prominent government officials and policy topics are slated to play a role in the dialogue. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, for instance, is scheduled to speak on Jan. 9 about the future of drones, self-driving technology and the role they will play in revolutionizing transportation.

Katerina Megas, who leads a cybersecurity program for the internet of things at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, meanwhile, will participate in a panel discussion on Jan. 10 with representatives from multiple world regions to discuss how regulators around the world are working to inform consumers about the cybersecurity challenges of connected devices.

On the topic of a "smart future," Maureen Ohlhausen, former acting chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, will participate in a Jan. 9 discussion exploring how to balance the speed of innovation with regulation and how some jurisdictions use regulation to gain a competitive advantage.

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was scheduled to deliver a keynote on Jan. 8, with the future of 5G being a potential topic, but his office says he will no longer be attending because of the government shutdown. Pai also skipped CES in 2018, after reportedly receiving death threats in the wake of the commission's order repealing net neutrality rules.

Big tech's big role

Executives from major tech companies also will be participating in policy discussions as the industry grapples with new technologies and associated risks.

Adam Kovacevich, director of public policy at Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC, will participate in a Jan. 8 discussion about "techlash" and how policymakers can help technology fulfill its promise without undercutting innovation.

Representatives from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Verizon will participate in a Jan. 8 conversation on creating a policy roadmap for 5G and self-driving vehicles in the U.S. Samsung will be represented by John Godfrey, the senior vice president of public policy for Samsung subsidiary Samsung Electronics America Inc., while Verizon will be represented by Melissa Glidden Tye, its vice president of public policy.

AT&T Director of Public Policy Kimberly Darrin will also take part in a Jan. 10 discussion on the policy and business landscape of drones, where panelists are expected to discuss what challenges remain in limiting the potential of drones for businesses and consumers.

Additionally, Verizon's Lani Ingram, the company’s vice president of smart communities, will take part in a conversation on the future of mobility and connectivity, where panelists will address the roles of policymakers and regulation and how executives should think about protecting consumers and their data.

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Federal government
Jan. 11

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration's BroadbandUSA Program will host a broadband workshop in Carson City, Nev.

Cybersecurity
Jan. 9-11 The International Association for Cryptologic Research will host a conference titled "Real World Crypto 2019" in San Jose, Calif.
Industry and think tank events
Jan. 8-11 CES 2019 kicks off in Las Vegas. The show, which is produced by the Consumer Technology Association, brings together leaders from the global technology industry, in addition to prominent government officials and executives from other business sectors.
Jan. 11 The Federal Communications Bar Association will host a lunch discussion on intellectual property.


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  • Casey Egan