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With digital disruptors eating away at market share and profits hurting from prolonged, intensive cost wars between traditional competitors, businesses had been looking to reduce their cost-to-income ratios even before COVID-19. When the pandemic happened, the urgency hit a new high. On top of that came the scramble to digitize pervasively in order to survive.
But there was a problem. Legacy infrastructure, being cost-inefficient and inflexible, hindered both objectives. The need for technology modernization was never clearer. However, what wasn’t so clear was the path to this modernization.
Should the enterprise rip up and replace the entire system or upgrade it in parts? Should the transformation go “big bang” or proceed incrementally, in phases? To what extent and to which type of cloud should they shift to? And so on.
The Infosys Modernization Radar 2022 addresses these and other questions.
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Currently, 88% of technology assets are legacy systems, half of which are business-critical. An additional concern is that many organizations lack the skills to adapt to the requirements of the digital era. This is why enterprises are rushing to modernize: The report found that 70% to 90% of the legacy estate will be modernized within five years.
Different modernization approaches have different impacts. For example, non-invasive (or less invasive) approaches involve superficial changes to a few technology components and impact the enterprise in select pockets. These methods may be considered when the IT architecture is still acceptable, the system is not overly complex, and the interfaces and integration logic are adequate. Hence they entail less expenditure.
But since these approaches modernize minimally, they are only a stepping stone to a more comprehensive future initiative. Some examples of less and non-invasive modernization include migrating technology frameworks to the cloud, migrating to open-source application servers, and rehosting mainframes.
Invasive strategies modernize thoroughly, making a sizable impact on multiple stakeholders, application layers and processes. Because they involve big changes, like implementing a new package or re-engineering, they take more time and cost more money than non-invasive approaches and carry a higher risk of disruption, but also promise more value.
When an organization’s IT snarl starts to stifle growth, it should look at invasive modernization by way of re-architecting legacy applications to cloud-native infrastructure, migrating traditional relational database management systems to NoSQL-type systems, or simplifying app development and delivery with low-code/no-code platforms.
From the above discussion, it is apparent that not all consequences of modernization are intentional or even desirable. So that brings us back to the earlier question: What is the best modernization strategy for an enterprise?
The truth is that there’s no single answer to this question because the choice of strategy depends on the organization’s context, resources, existing technology landscape, business objectives. However, if the goal is to minimize risk and business disruption, then some approaches are clearly better than others.
In the Infosys Modernization Radar 2022 report, 51% of respondents taking the big-bang approach frequently suffered high levels of disruption, compared to 21% of those who modernized incrementally in phases. This is because big-bang calls for completely rewriting enterprise core systems, an approach that has been very often likened to changing an aircraft engine mid-flight.
Therefore big-bang modernization makes sense only when the applications are small and easily replaceable. But most transformations entail bigger changes, tilting the balance in favor of phased and coexistence approaches, which are less disruptive and support business continuity.
Phased modernization progresses towards microservices architecture and could take the coexistence approach. As the name suggests, this entails the parallel runs of legacy and new systems until the entire modernization — of people, processes and technology — is complete. This requires new cloud locations for managing data transfers between old and new systems.
The modernized stack points to a new location with a routing façade, an abstraction that talks to both modernized and legacy systems. To embrace this path, organizations need to analyze applications in-depth and perform security checks to ensure risks don’t surface in the new architecture.
Strategies such as the Infosys zero-disruption method frequently take the coexistence approach since it is suited to more invasive types of modernization. Planning the parallel operation of both old and new systems until IT infrastructure and applications make their transition is extremely critical.
The coexistence approach enables a complete transformation to make the application scalable, flexible, modular and decoupled, utilizing microservices architecture. A big advantage is that the coexistence method leverages the best cloud offerings and gives the organization access to a rich partner ecosystem.
An example of zero-disruption modernization that I have led is the transformation of the point-of-sale systems of an insurer. More than 50,000 rules (business and UI) involving more than 10 million lines of code were transformed using micro-change management. This reduced ticket inventory by 70%, improved maintenance productivity by about 10% and shortened new policy rollout time by about 30%.
Technology modernization is imperative for meeting consumer expectations, lowering costs, increasing scalability and agility, and competing against nimble, innovative next-generation players. In other words, it is the ticket to future survival.
There are many modernization approaches, and not all of them are equal. For example, the big-bang approach, while quick and sometimes even more affordable, carries a very significant risk of disruption. Since a single hour of critical system downtime could cost as much as $300,000, maintaining business continuity during transformation is a very big priority for enterprises.
The phased coexistence approach mitigates disruption to ensure a seamless and successful transformation.
Gautam Khanna is the vice president and global head of the modernization practice at Infosys.
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National security leaders routinely warn that the United States faces growing cyber threats. Managing risks will require expertise in the public and private sector to Improve security. But there are currently more than 700,000 open cybersecurity positions across the country. That includes nearly 39,000 open government jobs.&nbsp;
Federal and state government agencies often struggle to hire and retain employees with needed skills to fill cybersecurity positions. The Commerce Department’s chief information officer recently told FedScoop that his agency had resorted to poaching talent from other agencies. “We’re stealing people from each other, that’s what it’s come down to,” commented Commerce CIO André Mendes.
For state and local government agencies, the competition for cyber talent is even more challenging. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers described the “talent crisis” as a top issue facing state technology leaders in 2022. With state and local governments facing growing cyber threats, many state and local government agencies struggle to recruit, fill, and retain key positions responsible for cybersecurity.&nbsp;
Recognizing the problem, the Department of Homeland Security recently announced a new state and local cybersecurity grant program that will award $1 billion in funds over the next four years. That’s on top of the billions in unspent homeland security grants awarded to states and local governments that could be spent to Improve cyber risk management.&nbsp;
But states and localities, like the federal government, will continue to struggle to manage cyber risks if they don’t have the workers needed to fill key positions. Addressing the nation’s cyber workforce challenge will require new approaches at the federal and state level to Improve training and help prepare future workers for careers in cybersecurity.
One promising approach is Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)’s new National Community College Cybersecurity Challenge Act, introduced on Thursday. The bill aims to address the cyber workforce talent gap by leveraging the nation’s community colleges and public-private partnerships to Improve training.&nbsp;
The bipartisan bill would authorize funding for the Department of Education to provide challenge grants to states that submit a plan to expand cybersecurity instruction at community colleges. It would also increase the number of students earning degrees in cybersecurity, with a focus on helping disadvantaged students. States would be required to provide 50 percent in matching funds (though the Education secretary would be empowered to waive this requirement). States would also be required to help community college students gain access to “real-world cybersecurity work-based experiences” and job opportunities through public-private partnerships.&nbsp;
The legislation would also create a “national cybersecurity workforce innovation fund” to award matching grants to community colleges and public or private entities that focus on cybersecurity training. Awarded funds would be required to be used to Improve training by placing cybersecurity professionals into teaching positions and work-based training programs for students to gain real-world cybersecurity experience.&nbsp;
The bill would authorize $250 million in annual grants to states through 2027 and a total of $150 million for the workforce innovation fund. The bill wisely offsets these authorized spending increases by rescinding the same amount from unspent coronavirus relief funding bills passed in 2020.&nbsp;
With growing questions about the return on investment of federal subsidies for higher education, refocusing federal funds to Improve cybersecurity training at community colleges through public-private partnerships is a commonsense strategy to address the nation’s cybersecurity workforce training gap while offering students new pathways for promising careers.
The cybersecurity workforce talent gap also spur the education sector to address the cybersecurity workforce talent gap. Student demand for this training should be on the rise, since cybersecurity degrees offer a promising return on investment. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the average starting salary for a two-year degree in cybersecurity is $70,000,&nbsp; increasing to $116,000 for students earning four-year degrees.
Schools at all levels of the education system, including K-12, should be working to provide students with options to train for cybersecurity careers. With states having more than $100 billion in unspent relief funds for education, there is a particularly good opportunity to use funds to help disadvantaged students receive training for these high-paying jobs.&nbsp;
Facing growing threats, the nation faces an urgent need to prepare a workforce for open positions to defend the public and private sectors from cyber attacks. Federal and state policymakers, and the entire education sector, should consider new approaches to solving this workforce training gap. The bipartisan National Community College Cybersecurity Challenge Act is a good place to start.&nbsp;
Dan Lips is Head of Policy at Lincoln Network.
Rajat Bhargava is an entrepreneur, investor, author and currently CEO and cofounder of JumpCloud.
From the 1980s until the mid-2000s, the monoculture around Microsoft ruled. Users logged into Windows-managed computers and used Office and Windows File Server; businesses relied on Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to manage user identity and access.
Then, IT evolved. On-premises environments and closed systems gave way to the flexibility of the cloud. Organizations adopted Mac- and Linux-based systems. Software as a service (SaaS) environments exploded. Data centers started to be replaced by infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers. Now, Gartner predicts that over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms by 2025, a dramatic increase from 30% in 2021.
With cloud servers preferred for data processing and storage, web applications now dominate the market. In part because wired connections gave way to wireless networks and people became more mobile through smartphones, and Google Workspace (aka G Suite, Google Apps) and M365 (aka Office 365) became as popular as machine-based Office applications in the enterprise space.
In this environment, organizations can’t be bound to anachronistic approaches as businesses shift to the cloud and globally distributed workforces. Now’s the time for companies—especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)—to approach IT with an open mind and an open approach.
“Open” in this context doesn’t mean porous or loose; it represents scalability, flexibility and agility in terms of changes in technology and developments in the stack. An open approach improves end user experience, worker productivity and satisfaction. An open approach to IT can be a critical tool in helping organizations establish zero-trust security without sacrificing the agility and flexibility made possible by the cloud.
In this article, I’ll offer some tips to getting started with this approach.
Modernizing IT stacks means making sure that work—remote and hybrid—functions well. Employees care about doing their job; they want easy access to the resources they need. IT teams want a similarly streamlined experience and assurance that company data remains secure without impacting productivity. My company’s survey of 506 SME IT admins found that nearly 75% prefer a single solution to manage employee identities, access and devices than having to manage a number of different solutions. An open directory platform approach incorporates a cloud-hosted “virtual” domain that meets this need, offering the flexibility and security necessary to support modern workplaces.
This means creating an IT environment that consumes identities wherever they live. Not just employee identities but also device identities, allowing your system to be open to receive information from authorized sources anywhere. On the outgoing side, it means creating a single source of user identity that can be propagated out to other devices, other users or to an authorized network.
Identity as a service and cloud directories are vital tools that enable an open approach. Look for those that offer fluidity and the flexibility to change resources any time (for example, from M365 to Google Workspace or vice versa).
Flexible Security Layers
Instead of traditional perimeters, an open approach favors a creation of virtual offices and security perimeters around each employee—and whatever devices they use. Being open doesn’t equate to a cavalier security approach; it’s a way to offer authorized access to resources anywhere that is convenient and tracked for compliance and overall visibility.
Security layers can evolve with each organization’s need and should include:
• Identity layer: A cloud directory houses authentication credentials and establishes centralized access control across user identity, admin access, service accounts and machines. Centering identity within a cloud directory allows SME teams to draw a security perimeter around each employee, enabling updates without disruption and providing access to on-prem and cloud-based resources.
• Device layer: Most IT environments operate within an ever-evolving state of company-issued, personal and mobile devices running some combination of Mac, Windows or Linux systems. In this complicated device ecosystem, organizations should extend user identity to establish device trust, meaning that a device is known and its user is verified. A mobile device management solution (MDM) is one option that can install a remote agent to handle basics—including multifactor authentication (MFA) and permissions—zero-touch onboarding and remote lock, restart or wipe. Determine the control level you need in your device environment, factoring in options like how you honor employee device choice and how you manage your bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
• IT resource layer: In office environments, employees generally use a form of single sign-on (SSO) to log into their desktop at designated workstations and then get instant access to applications and shared files and servers. In remote, hybrid and other modern IT environments, SSO should include everything from SaaS apps to systems, files, infrastructure and shared networks. Some organizations use SSO solely for web-based applications, while some centralize identity and extend it to virtually any IT resource through authentication protocols like LDAP, SAML, OpenID Connect, SSH, RADIUS and REST.
Given security, ongoing monitoring and compliance needs, visibility is critical to an open IT approach. Considering the breadth of access transactions, businesses should look for a holistic solution with broad coverage.
Basic event logging data is table stakes, and IT solutions should include a method for capturing discrete and unique log formats. That includes logs from SSO and from cloud RADIUS for network connection, LDAP and device connections—any log format for resources deployed in your stack.
Because integration requirements make log analysis and management solutions expensive, challenging to implement and difficult for admins managing custom feeds for authentication protocols, consider options that offer a wide range of analysis by enriching raw data. This can be done with a number of other data points, sessionizing the data through post-processing. Such information provides admins with broad insight across their entire IT environment, not just into a particular service or user.
For many organizations, extending closed legacy systems was a necessity. In the age of hybrid and remote work, it’s proving more of a liability than an asset. An open approach allows companies to embrace a diverse, modern IT environment that can keep pace with what users need, keeping them and company data secure at every access point.
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Americans are starting to realize that their country is in serious trouble. After 20+ months of President Joe Biden and his ill-advised policies, multiple crises are impacting the nation.
When Biden assumed office, the nation’s economy was strong. There was minimal inflation, strong economic growth, a robust stock market, and low-interest rates. Today, we have a 40-year high inflation rate, negative economic growth, a recession, a bearish stock market, and the highest interest rates since 2008.
Biden inherited a county that was energy independent, but, today, we are once again dependent on foreign nations and depleting our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep gasoline prices from spiraling out of control. Biden declared war on our domestic oil and gas industry, putting moratoriums on drilling in this country while begging Saudi Arabia for increased production.
At the end of the Trump administration, the southern border was secure, and a security wall was being erected. After taking office, Biden immediately ended the construction of the border wall and opened our nation to illegal immigration.
Millions of illegal aliens have crossed the border since January 2021, breaking records. It is such a crisis that former President Bill Clinton noted that the country cannot manage such an influx. In a recent CNN interview, he said, “There is a limit to how many migrants any society can take without severe disruption and assistance.”
When Bill Clinton begins to criticize the Biden administration it is an admission that the country is seriously on the wrong track. It is a reason so many Democratic candidates on the ballot in the midterm election are not interested in campaigning with President Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris.
The reality is that Americans are scared and angry and want change. Incredibly, Biden continues to insist the economy is strong, claiming that “The great American jobs machine continues to come back. American workers are back to work.”
While a 3.7% unemployment rate is good, wages are not keeping pace with the inflation rate. The increasing interest rates are supposed to tame inflation, but the negative effects include causing both credit card debt and mortgages to skyrocket, thereby making it more difficult to purchase a home. It is little wonder that the real estate industry is suffering, with home sales 20% below last year’s level.
All this negative economic news is souring the mood of investors and the stock market has turned negative. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 29,000 for the first time since November 2020. This marks an 8.8% decline in just a month of September.
In contrast to Biden’s misplaced optimism, there is nothing positive on the economic horizon. Inflation will not be tamed soon, especially since the Biden administration refuses to instill any fiscal discipline. The signature bills passed by Congress in the Biden administration have been extremely costly, adding to our national debt, which nears $31 trillion.
With massive spending bills passed that require more borrowing, inflation will continue to be a problem. Until there is a change in leadership in Congress and the White House, there will be no appetite for any adjustment in our fiscal policies.
On Friday, Biden signed another stopgap spending measure that funds the continued operation of the federal government in the short term and includes another $12.3 billion in aid for Ukraine. While the United States sends a steady stream of funding to Ukraine, our borders remain open, our cities have become crime hellholes and over 100,000 Americans are dying each year from drug overdoses, exacerbated by the Chinese fentanyl pouring into our country from Mexico.
None of these problems seem to matter to Biden and Harris. They are not thinking about the economy but seem to be focused on issues such as abortion and “right-wing extremism.” Instead, there is much more violence committed by unhinged liberals. For example, in McHenry, North Dakota, a deranged motorist, Shannon Brandt, was charged with murder after he used his vehicle to kill a young man, Cayler Ellingson, who he believed was a “Republican extremist.”
Sadly, Biden and Harris are not interested in dealing with the harsh reality that their policies have created. As Americans have noticed for months, Biden does not have a firm grasp on reality at all. On Wednesday, at a White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, he asked “Where’s Jackie? I thought she was going to be here.”
Of course, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) could not be there since she died in an automobile accident in August. Supposedly, Biden knew she died and sent a condolence note to her family. He forgot about her death in the span of a few weeks.
Biden’s mental incompetence is getting worse. Often, he looks lost after finishing speeches and extends his hand to greet a person only he can see.
Vice President Harris offers her own set of problems. This week, during a visit to the Demilitarized Zone in the Korean peninsula, she mistakenly praised our country’s “alliance with the Republic of North Korea.” On Friday, at a Democratic Party forum, Harris asserted that the federal government should be “giving resources based on equity.”
This claim, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, was denounced by Florida officials. An assistant to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, blasted Harris and noted that “FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background.”
Thus, Biden is mentally incompetent, and Harris is the “word salad” queen. Some are calling for the removal of Biden via the 25th Amendment. Ideally, Republicans should demand that Biden submits to a mental competency test. If he fails and is removed, he will be replaced by Harris, a chilling prospect.
No matter how embarrassing his behavior, Biden remains in office, for the foolish Vice President is his best insurance policy. Unfortunately, America is stuck between a rock and a hard place as our troubles continue to mount.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award-winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs Saturdays from Noon until 1 p.m. CT nationally on Real America's Voice TV Network & AmericasVoice.News and weekdays from 7-11 a.m. CT on WGSO 990-AM & Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance, and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and Crouere.net. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite the boom of education technology investment and innovation over the past few years, founder Julia Stiglitz, who broke into the edtech world as an early Coursera employee, thinks there’s a lot of room to grow. Her new startup, CoRise, sells expert-led programming to people who want to up-skill their careers. It’s a fresh play in a crowded sector, with heavyweights including Udemy, Udacity, Guild Education and, well, her former employer.
“We haven’t solved the problems yet, and in fact, they’re growing,” Stiglitz said in an interview with TechCrunch. The edtech veteran is right: The next-generation of edtech is still looking for ways to balance motivation and behavior change, offered at an accessible price point in a scalable format. There’s an inherent trade-off between engagement and scale — an elephant that even the unicorns have not entirely been able to avoid.
Enter CoRise, which wants to do it all. The startup, built by Stiglitz, Sourabh Bajaj and Jacob Samuelson, pairs students who want to learn and Improve on highly technical skills, such as DevOps or data science, with experts. CoRise defines experts as leaders at tech companies; advertised instructors include a data engineering manager at Drizly, former CTO at Wikimedia and director of machine learning at ShareChat, for example. Some classes, like this SQL crash course, are even taught by CoRise employees.
As far as early users go, it’s not going for the solopreneur who wants to break into tech. Instead, CoRise is selling to enterprises in need of more tailored solutions for their talent. In talking to learning and development leaders, the founder learned that organizations are either rolling out asynchronous education platforms to the entire staff, or bringing in consultants to do customer training; “there sort of wasn’t anything in between,” she said, so she built it.
Stiglitz doesn’t want CoRise to scale to a place where it hosts 20,000 courses taught by thousands of instructors. Instead, the startup wants to offer one applied machine learning course that teaches 1,000 or 5,000 students at a time.
By focusing on bigger cohorts, CoRise is taking a different approach than some of its competitors. Udemy founder Gagan Biyani, for example, is working on Maven, which offers expert-led programming that divides people into small groups to nurture collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Stiglitz, meanwhile, thinks that smaller cohorts drive up the expense of the program. Standardized courses with bigger classes is the only way to get programming to “be really accessible”, in her view.
Single course access costs an average of $400, and students can buy an all-access pass to every cohort for around $1,000, she adds. For comparison, a single course on Maven — perhaps this one on founder finance — can cost $2,000.
“We’re trying to figure out how you get outcomes or results for learners at this scale, and still make it really accessible, still have instructors make solid revenue on it,” she said. “We need to figure out how to have lots of people in a cohort and still have a great experience.”
The challenge of big classes and standardized courses, of course, is the lack of personalization. CoRise created a “nudging infrastructure” that looks at how an individual student is interacting with a course, associated lectures and due assignments. It also looks at things like if the student has gone to office hours, or if they have submitted their work in time.
The back-end information helps CoRise then send out an automated “nudge” or push notification to someone who needs a reminder to seek additional support. The course manager also follows up with a human response so students don’t feel like it’s all robots and automatic messages, the founder explained.
Over time, CoRise can get smarter on how to support students who are struggling before they even show up to office hours, a big vision shared among the personalized learning movement.
“A lot of what we’re trying to figure out is like what needs to be human to retain that motivational element? And then what can we scale up on the backend in order to drive scale and keep costs down to make a reasonable price,” she said. Stiglitz says that the average completion rate of the course is 78%. The startup’s nudge framework is certainly compelling, but is only one step toward a more customized and engaging experience for learners. And while low costs certainly matter — a lot — there can be a race to the bottom if other competitors also seek to drive price down to win over customers.
While the startup didn’t disclose the number of learners who have gone through its platform, it did say that they come from more than 500 companies, including Spotify, Walmart and Lyft. It has a 68 NPS score.
The startup has raised millions to better figure out the above. To date, CoRise tells TechCrunch that it has raised $8.5 million from Greylock, GSV and Cowboy Ventures since launch, with $5.5 million in its first check and the following $3 million given in accurate traction. Other investors include Greg Brockman, co-founder of OpenAI, and Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder DeepMind.
My last question for Stiglitz was an annoying one: How does her focus on fewer classes and instructors sit with her investors? Wouldn’t they want her to always be launching new classes?
“The pressure is going to be scale, scale, scale, but it’s going to be scale, scale, scale, within the class,” she said. “We’re targeting large companies who want to roll out SQL training to 1,000 people, but they’re not going to want to roll out eight different versions of that class. That’s how we get scale.”
As the war in Ukraine enters its eighth month, Americans are growing tired of the Biden administration's approach to punishing Russia for the invasion, a new poll suggests.
According to the poll conducted by Data for Progress and commissioned by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, 57 percent of likely voters strongly or somewhat support the U.S. pursuing diplomatic negotiations, even if it means Ukraine would have to make compromises with Russia. Comparably, 32 percent of respondents were strongly or somewhat opposed to the idea.
The poll also found that 49 percent of Americans believe that Congress and the Biden administration need to do more diplomatically to help end the war. However, Washington has largely written off wading into negotiations and stuck to just providing military assistance to Ukraine.
"We found quite strong public support for the idea of pairing our assistance to Ukraine with a diplomatic or negotiation track," Marcus Stanley, Quincy's advocacy director, told Newsweek. However, Stanley noted, "In Washington, D.C., it would be considered almost a radical perspective to say that we should even be talking to Russia at all."
"Washington is pretty much all-in on just the military strategy at this point," he said. "We're not talking to Russia and we don't seem to be seeking a settlement. We seem to be purely focused on fighting it out on the battlefield."
On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced an additional $1.1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, bringing the total U.S. commitment to more than $16.2 billion since the invasion began on February 24. Ukraine is now the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military aid in the last century.
Then on Friday, congressional lawmakers approved of another $12.3 billion aid package to Ukraine. Congress has already approved about $54 billion in two previous packages.
"Assisting Ukraine is not some feel-good, symbolic gesture—it's literally an investment in our own national security and that of our allies," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor as he urged his colleagues to support the package.
But while lawmakers continue to underscore the importance of delivering foreign aid to Ukraine, their constituents appear to be growing weary of the approach. Compared to the 57 percent who support U.S. negotiations in ending the war, only 51 percent say they support the continuation of current levels of aid to Ukraine without diplomatic efforts, and 47 percent oppose it.
"Polls have been consistent in finding that people faulted Russia for what are some pretty outrageous and illegal actions, and that they support assistance to Ukraine," Stanley said. "But what people have not been asking about is whether people favored seeking a diplomatic or negotiated solution to the war."
He noted that while people try to pit diplomacy strategies and support for Ukraine as mutually exclusive approaches, he doesn't believe that to be the case. He said that the poll, which has a margin of error of 3 points, was not asking people to choose between one or the other, but questioning if there was broad support for combining the current support for Ukraine's sovereignty with peace talks.
The Quincy Institute advised politicians that it would be wise for them to consider "the American people's appetite" for a diplomatic track at this time, especially as Americans have begun to feel the economic strain of the war.
The survey found that more than six in 10 Americans say Russia's invasion of Ukraine has impacted them financially. Nearly 60 percent of likely voters said they would oppose additional aid to Ukraine if the war results in higher gas and consumer prices in the U.S.
The Biden administration unveiled a set of far-reaching goals Tuesday aimed at averting harms caused by the rise of artificial intelligence systems, including guidelines for how to protect people’s personal data and limit surveillance.
The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights notably does not set out specific enforcement actions, but instead is intended as a White House call to action for the U.S. government to safeguard digital and civil rights in an AI-fueled world, officials said.
“This is the Biden-Harris administration really saying that we need to work together, not only just across government, but across all sectors, to really put equity at the center and civil rights at the center of the ways that we make and use and govern technologies,” said Alondra Nelson, deputy director for science and society at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “We can and should expect better and demand better from our technologies.”
The office said the white paper represents a major advance in the administration’s agenda to hold technology companies accountable, and highlighted various federal agencies’ commitments to weighing new rules and studying the specific impacts of AI technologies. The document emerged after a year-long consultation with more than two dozen different departments, and also incorporates feedback from civil society groups, technologists, industry researchers and tech companies including Palantir and Microsoft.
It suggests five core principles that the White House says should be built into AI systems to limit the impacts of algorithmic bias, deliver users control over their data and ensure that automated systems are used safely and transparently.
The resulting non-binding principles cite academic research, agency studies and news reports that have documented real-world harms from AI-powered tools, including facial recognition tools that contributed to wrongful arrests and an automated system that discriminated against loan seekers who attended a Historically Black College or University.
The white paper also said parents and social workers alike could benefit from knowing if child welfare agencies were using algorithms to help decide when families should be investigated for maltreatment.
Earlier this year after the publication of an AP review of an algorithmic tool used in a Pennsylvania child welfare system, OSTP staffers reached out to sources quoted in the article to learn more, according to multiple people who participated in the call. AP’s investigation found that the Allegheny County tool in its first years of operation showed a pattern of flagging a disproportionate number of Black children for a “mandatory” neglect investigation, when compared with white children.
In May, sources said Carnegie Mellon University researchers and staffers from the American Civil Liberties Union spoke with OSTP officials about child welfare agencies’ use of algorithms. Nelson said protecting children from technology harms remains an area of concern.
“If a tool or an automated system is disproportionately harming a vulnerable community, there should be, one would hope, that there would be levers and opportunities to address that through some of the specific applications and prescriptive suggestions,” said Nelson, who also serves as deputy assistant to President Joe Biden.
OSTP did not provide additional comment about the May meeting.
Still, because many AI-powered tools are developed, adopted or funded at the state and local level, the federal government has limited oversight regarding their use. The white paper makes no specific mention of how the Biden administration could influence specific policies at state or local levels, but a senior administration official said the administration was exploring how to align federal grants with AI guidance.
The white paper does not have power over the tech companies that develop the tools nor does it include any new legislative proposals. Nelson said agencies would continue to use existing rules to prevent automated systems from unfairly disadvantaging people.
The white paper also did not specifically address AI-powered technologies funded through the Department of Justice, whose civil rights division separately has been examining algorithmic harms, bias and discrimination, Nelson said.
Tucked between the calls for greater oversight, the white paper also said when appropriately implemented, AI systems have the power to bring about lasting benefits to society, such as helping farmers grow food more efficiently or identifying diseases.
“Fueled by the power of American innovation, these tools hold the potential to redefine every part of our society and make life better for everyone. This important progress must not come at the price of civil rights or democratic values,” the document said.
The Biden administration is working on a "national strategy" for establishing diversity, equity and inclusion policies for the government that officials hope can be used as a template for companies and other organizations throughout the country.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last week convened the first meeting of the Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council, a group that includes diversity officers from several federal agencies. The council will work to "implement and sustain" a government-wide plan for encouraging policies that support diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in government hiring and employment.
However, the OPM also said it wants to ensure the government is "our country’s model of excellence" when it comes to implementing DEIA policies.
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The council is staffed by Dr. Janice Underwood, the director of OPM’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. The OPM said Underwood’s role on the council effectively makes her the government-wide chief diversity officer, but Underwood said the council also has an eye on influencing organizations beyond the government.
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"This historic council will be a nexus of the most promising policies and practices from the public and private sectors alike," Underwood said. "As a council, the chief diversity officers will collaborate on an approach to advancing DEIA work across the federal government and our society."
OPM added that while the council will help government diversity officers advance DEIA goals by setting "clear strategies, benchmarks, and metrics," it will also collaborate with "public and private stakeholders" on DEIA policies both in the government and "across other employment sectors."
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Underwood was the first DEIA director in the state of Virginia, under Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. After Underwood was replaced by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, she gave a 2022 interview in which she said people both inside and outside of government need to promote DEIA policies in every aspect of life.
"We need more people who respect and affirm diversity, equity and inclusion to run for political office at all levels," she reportedly said. "We also need people — commonsense, reasonable people and elected officials and their communications partners — to speak up and not be so afraid to speak up at school board meetings, in the media, in the local [town] square, at the YMCA, grocery store and on the campaign trail."
OPM did not respond to questions from Fox News Digital about its DEIA initiative.