(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)
Biden moves to strengthen AI safety
The Biden administration will start implementing a new requirement for the developers of major artificial intelligence systems to disclose their safety test results to the government. While software companies have committed to a set of categories for safety tests, they do not have to comply with a common standard on test as of now. The government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology will develop a uniform framework for assessing safety, as part of the order Biden signed in October.
AI has emerged as a leading economic and national security consideration for the U.S. federal government, given the investments and uncertainties caused by the launch of new AI tools such as ChatGPT that can generate text, images and sounds. The Biden administration is also looking at congressional legislation and working with other countries and the European Union on rules for managing the technology.
Japanese moon probe resumes operations
A Japanese moon explorer is up and running after several tense days without the sunlight it needs to generate power. Japan’s first lunar mission hit its target in a precision touchdown on January 20, but landed the wrong way up, leaving its solar panels unable to see the sun.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said that it successfully established communication with the probe Sunday night, and the craft has resumed its mission, taking pictures of the Moon’s surface and transmitting them to the Earth. The landing made Japan the world’s fifth country to reach the moon surface, after the United States, the Soviet Union, China and India.
U.S. disables Chinese hacking network
The U.S. government in recent months launched an operation to fight a pervasive Chinese hacking operation that successfully compromised thousands of internet-connected devices. The operation resulted in the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation seeking and receiving legal authorisation to remotely disable aspects of the Chinese hacking campaign.
The U.S. government has increasingly focused on hacking, not only for fear nation states may try to disrupt elections, but because ransomware wreaked havoc on Corporate America in 2023. The widespread nature of the hacks led to a series of meetings between the White House and private technology industry, including several telecommunications and cloud commuting companies, where the U.S. government asked for assistance in tracking the activity.