If you were wondering what I brought you back from Germany, the answer is a cold. The good news is e-newsletters aren't contagious. (I think.)
You might want to drink extra fluids just in case.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Guillermo Gutierrez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The big internet platforms all turned in written answers to questions from Congress, which is investigating the role the social platforms have played in election interference.
The big takeaway: There's a reason written answers are not ideal. As BuzzFeed's Alex Kantrowitz noted, there was "a lot of boilerplate" in the companies' responses.
Case-in-point: Here's Facebook's "answer" to a question on whether it believes its platform was used to affect last year's elections, including gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia:
"We have learned from the 2016 election cycle and from elections worldwide this last year. We have incorporated that learning into our automated systems and human review and have greatly improved in preparation for the upcoming elections. We hope to continue learning and improving through increased industry cooperation and dialogue with law enforcement moving forward."
Other key points:
Another take: Vanity Fair's Nick Bilton has a piece out this week suggesting Facebook isn't only worried about the hit to its reputation. He says there's a real business concern that people will use the service less or delete apps from their phone.
Ina Fried (on left), Alexander Del Toro Barba (center) and Jürgen Schmidhuber at DLD 2018. Photo: Dominik Gigler for DLD
As part of DLD, I moderated a panel on the subject of whether or not AI will ever gain consciousness and emotion — a fascinating question in and of itself. But the part of the discussion that has stuck with me was a conversation we got into at the end over values.
The big question:
"Will there be AI with ethic views of the Vatican, ones with Chinese and some with Islamic worldviews? ... Will a machine one day question its values, that were programmed into it?"— VisualVest product head Alexander Del Toro Barba
In response, AI pioneer Jürgen Schmidhuber made the case that AI will necessarily settle on one set of values, even if those aren't the values of its creator.
"I don't believe in these country or company dominated values"— Schmidhuber
China's dilemma: Schmidhuber said even China will have to give its AI freedom if it really wants to lead. "If you want to build a smart machine you’d better give it the freedom to invent it’s own problems," he said.
Watch more: You can see the full session here.
The music industry may be close to an agreement on how to pay musicians fairly for their work — just in time for Sunday's Grammys, Axios' Sara Fisher reports.
Today: Members of Congress will hold a hearing Friday in New York City to discuss a bipartisan bill to rewrite music licensing and copyright laws, featuring testimony from celebrity artists like Aloe Blacc and Booker T. Jones.
Why it matters: It's unusual that musicians, record labels, and streamers would compromise on something this big. For the first time in over a decade, an overhaul of the copyright laws — and the opportunity to put more money in artists' pockets — has a chance to pass in Congress due to unprecedented support from stakeholders across the industry.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich speaking at CES 2018. Photo: Intel
Intel blasted past quarterly earnings and sales estimates on Thursday and reiterated its stance that it doesn't see a financial impact from the massive vulnerabilities affecting it and others in the chip industry.
The bottom line: The PC market remains in decline, but Intel has harnessed its strong data center business to generate record results.
No meltdown over flaws: Intel got some headlines for 2 comments on the big chip flaw, but both are things that we and others have reported.
Forget self-parking cars. Nissan has created self-parking slippers.