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President Trump has signed an executive order calling on the federal government to prioritize artificial intelligence research and development.

The “American AI Initiative” also calls for technical standards to promote safe use of the technology and workforce training.

However, the executive order didn’t commit any funding or dollar amounts to this work.

Coming up, artificial intelligence in the United States, Germany regulates Facebook, and more.

Tech Tuesday: Facebook, FCC And More

Feb 5, 2019
Martin Meissner / Associated Press

Facebook at last count had attracted more than 2 billion users worldwide to its social media platform where they share photos, links, memories, life events and opinions.

But the amount of time they spend on the platform, even one that touts its users as friends, can have a negative effect on user’s wellbeing, according to a new, in-depth study.

We talk about what has been learned from people who give up Facebook today on Tech Tuesday on All Sides with Ann Fisher.

​Guests: 

Martin Meissner / Associated Press

In a study published Wednesday in PLOS One, Kenyon College researchers found that Facebook users would require an average of about $1,000 in exchange for giving up their account for a year.

For nearly two weeks in September, developers who created apps for Facebook were able to access user photos that they should never have been allowed to see, the social media company announced Friday.

Up to 6.8 million users may have been affected, Facebook says.

The "bug" affects users who gave permission to a third-party app to access their Facebook photos. Normally, that would only include photos that someone actually posted to their timeline.

Mark Zuckerberg speaking at Facebook event.
Brian Solis / Flickr

Following a New York Times investigation into Facebook’s knowledge of Russian hacking, the tech giant is yet again in hot water. Facebook failed to disclose its knowledge of security breaches from Russian-linked accounts during the 2016 election. And when faced with backlash after the scandal started, the companies hired a firm from Washington, Definers Public Affairs, to discredit critics.

Today on All Sides, Facebook’s latest scandal, safety while online shopping and more on Tech Tuesday.

iPhone with social media apps
Christiian Colen / Flickr

Newark elementary schools are among 500 schools across the country participating in a program that enables parents to track the physical well-being of their children in the classroom.

In the program, parents use a smart thermometer that links to an app to collect data on illness and keep more kids healthy.

The benefits are knowledge and convenience. The downsides: privacy and data.

Coming up on Tech Tuesday, smart thermometers, social media and voter turnout, and more.

Mark Zuckerberg speaking at Facebook event.
Brian Solis / Flickr

More than 50 million Facebook user accounts were hacked last week. It’s the tech company’s largest data breach in history, as data for other companies Facebook owns were also potentially compromised. 

Today on All Sides, what happens when the largest social media company gets hacked, microchip implants, and more.

Updated 5:37 p.m. ET

Facebook says that it has discovered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million accounts and that it's not yet clear whether any information was accessed or any accounts were otherwise misused.

The vulnerability that caused the breach was found Tuesday and was fixed on Thursday night, Facebook says. It was the result of bugs introduced into Facebook's code in July 2017. No passwords or credit card numbers were stolen, the company says.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday

Facebook became embroiled in another controversy Tuesday, after the American Civil Liberties Union accused the company of giving employers a powerful tool to discriminate against women seeking work.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The Justice Department will meet with state attorneys generals this month as part of an investigation of whether social media companies are censoring conservative speech. 

This comes after President Trump and other prominent conservatives complained that companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, had unfairly removed or banned content. 

Today on Tech Tuesday, what that investigation could look like. 

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Old electrical, gas, and water meters are being replaced by smart meters. 

They’re quicker than traditional meters, using radio frequency signals to send meter readings back to the service provider.  

While 132,000 meters have already been installed this year in Ohio alone, not everyone’s thrilled. Homeowners in Illinois have already taken the meter companies to court, preferring traditional meter options. 

Today on Tech Tuesday, the future of smart meters. And, Russell Holly joins us again.

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Ahead of the midterm elections, Facebook and other social media platforms are cracking down on fraudulent users and groups that could be part of election meddling. 

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Facebook announced Tuesday afternoon that it has removed 32 Facebook and Instagram accounts or pages involved in a political influence campaign with links to the Russian government.

The company says the campaign included efforts to organize counterprotests on Aug. 10 to 12 for the white nationalist Unite The Right 2 rally planned in Washington that weekend.

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Congress isn’t the only government body looking into Facebook. Now a laundry list of federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, are interested. 

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled on Capitol Hill last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked him whether his company faces any real competition: "If I buy a Ford, and it doesn't work well, and I don't like it, I can buy a Chevy. If I'm upset with Facebook, what's the equivalent product that I can go sign up for?"

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