tv The Communicators Congress Technology CSPAN October 21, 2019 1:20pm-1:51pm EDT
>> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington dc and around the country so you can make up your own mind , created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government . >> congresswoman eddie bernice johnson, a democrat of texas was also chair of the science -based and technology committee and she is a first-time guest on the communicators . madam chair,thanks for being with us . >> thank you for having me. >> before i get into some of the issues, some of the telecommunications and technical issues that your
committee deals with, i wanted to ask you about stem education area you come from a science background. science education. what is your committee doing when it comes to stem education and what do you think the congress should be doing. >> let me start with the committee. the committee has asked path to major pieces of legislation that was bipartisan, pass on a consent calendar but it has lower in the senate. it is extraordinarily important that we not only just spread the word but also put in instruments and in the environment, and the environment to make sure that women and minorities aren't told about the importance of stem courses and we're seeing it every day. because innovation is our future and we don't have the people educated and trained and we see a lack of the
brainpower now with affecting theimmigration . h1b visas are topped out, we are seeing fewer and fewer students coming from india, china we have had lots of support in that area.we just all recently for example the nobel laureate, none of them were johnson, jones or smith. and then much of our brainpower has been imported. we want to be in a position to furnish our own brainpower . the only way we're going to ever be able to do that is to educate women and minorities in the stanfield and that comes in many categories area that we've even coined the phrase more recently called blue-collar stem. where no amount of phd's or
graduate degrees might even be necessary to havethose skills to be very innovative . and to be in a good workforce that is producing some of the innovation. >> joining us in our conversation today is mccleskey who covers technology for the washington post. >> thanks for having me on the show. i wanted to follow up on a point you made around stem education and diversity. for the past five years we've seen silicon valley tech companies make promises to diversify their workforces but they repeatedly put out reports that show the numbers haven't changed that much. what do you think that companies need to be doing to address diversity in tech ? >> we're just beginning to get the results of our seven study, way back when i burst on the committee, congresswoman connie morella and i did legislation as to what why more women were not
going into the field and remaining and we did find interesting findings, that still remain true today and that is the possibility that women sometimes find in male-dominated professions from the past. it is no longer should be male-dominated because first of all, we have more women now than men and we have more minorities coming on to the forefront so we should be inclusive. we need all the talent we can get and we got to make sure that their opportunities for women in childbearing age and whatever ages might have the opportunity to be into these fields. and like i just mentioned earlier, we are broadening the standards to include what we consider blue-collar stem. workforce readiness, community college level education and sometimes high school . we are about to lose our edge
in innovation. we cannot afford to do that. we must be very forceful in making sure that there are opportunities that young people are aware of them and especially women, that there are many opportunities, because we are in the age of innovation. we cannot stay on the world stage without having people that are in tune with innovation. it's a way of thinking. we got the mold those and died that innovative thinking, creative thinking and critical thinking. >> madam chair, your committee recently hosted a hearing on artificial intelligence and i wanted to ask you, as artificial intelligence is becoming more prevalent, how do you think the usapproach to stem education needs to evolve . >> it's getting to be more important than ever. an artificial intelligence, we're just beginning to crack the ice and looking into the area. we've had looking at the type
of research we need to do. i do not want us to sit around and think that artificial intelligence is going to disappear. we've got to be ready for thatinnovation. and we got to make sure that the workforce is ready. and it's critical . and while we are doing a lot of focuses on many other things,that is our future. that's how workforce readiness future . >> eddie bernice johnson, is it important that the us beat china when it comes to ai? >> it's important that we keep pace and hopefully sometimes we will lead but we're not invested the same amount of time and money in the research to keep up with china. that is a concern that i have. we cannot assume that we can keep up with out those investments. we've got to invest in the research and we've got to invest in education area.
>> i wanted to follow up last night at the democratic debate, automation was a key issue that came up and one presidential candidate, andrew yang, an entrepreneur from new york has been proposing universal basic income to address the changes in work that ai might bring to the us economy. what do you think of those puzzles for a universal basic income ? >> that's an idea we need to entertain. i'm not going to the door on any idea because we are challenged by our future. we in this country are losing ground. we cannot afford that. we have got to invest in order to have the returns on the investment. >> and i just wanted to also ask you more broadly, tech issues are coming up more and more on the debate stage last night . what do you think of the proposals that we've seenfrom lawmakers like senator
elizabeth warren to break up big tech ? >> that's yet to be explored. however, i will say that all of the ideas that are coming forward, we have seen them coming over the years and many of these ideas did at the development of the check, semi conductor. which wasdeveloped right in the backyard or where i represent . and so many of the innovative ideas are being put to work there. a good example is that texas was one of the first states to do this distance learning with schools because we didn't have teachers in some of the rural areas. then that developed into distant medicine area so as a state with innovation, we are accustomed to seeing it. we are now seeing robots doing room service and hotels. we're also just recently starting to look at robots having luggage at the dollar store at the airport. we just started in may with
ups delivering arizona and colorado, ups packaging. so when we see that happening right in our faces, without any prior preparation necessarily, we know there's more to come. and we must you ready for it. not only should we just wait to see that it's coming, we ought to be a part of that development. and we've got to take some responsibility to make sure that we have the skills. we now see that autonomous vehicle travel is probably right here on thehorizon . we need to focus more on getting people who are accustomed to driving these trucks behind some computer or some technology to help drive them and refine the driving of those trucks. it is not too soon. as a matter of fact, four years ago i started talking about trying to do legislation to start to train drivers.
it failed. we were never able to get it sold that we could get the support to have enabling legislation passed the house and it was killed in the senate. and some of the ideas is this is not going to happen. we see now that it is going to happen. we started this evolution of innovation with technology and artificial intelligence. with our own research. now we're letting the rest of the world as a spy. we cannot afford that we got the people, they're capable of getting the education and training and wegot to take some of the responsibility of making sure that they are trained . we got to make sure we have adequate training areas . and we really affect make sure that we encourage young minds. to think more critically. to make better choices and choose what they major in and perhaps even making a choice of coming to community college or workforce
development, then maybe going into afour-year college at the beginning . but we've got to do innovation to make sure that we remain as a part of the cutting edge. i can't say remain thecutting edge because we're just about to lose that edge. but we can't afford to do it . we've got to beat it up. >> representative johnson, you referenced texas instruments and the chip and silicon chip, but what about your district today. how high-tech is it? >> my district is pretty high-tech. we're trying to be ready to face that high-tech as part of it, our community colleges are stepping up. we just had a large grant for workforce development presented to us a couple of weeks ago . from google. and so this will continue, but what i'm more concerned about, whether or not we are
receptive enough to start to emphasize from the time young people start to school, the critical thinking and guidance, we need more counselors to try to make sure that we are not missing out on talent could become very natural. >> one of the concerns that been expressed over the years of hearings in congress is that congress is not tech savvy. what's your take? >> an idea like that at least part of it is true. but we have got to be more focused on our future. we cannot be any more focused on our future than what we will be focused on innovation. that is what is driving the world. we have seen all the space research and what has come from it. it's brought us lots of goods and lots of services.
we've gotten five dollars for every dollar we've invested and that is just the beginning. we're still talking about more research we got to be much more realistic and involving a lot more young people. is not just the exclusive high-minded. we got to include all of our minds in order to meet the challenge. >> i wanted to ask you, you talk a lot about stem education and efforts to stay focused on innovation in the future in congress but in this politically divided moment in washington as impeachment heats up, do you think that there's bipartisan will in congress to pass some of thesemeasures that you've mentioned ? >> let me just say that in the science, space and technology committee thisyear , most, 95 percent of the
legislation that has come on the committee have been very bipartisan. we arefocused on that. it should not be partisan . technology is not partisan. technology doesn't see what color, what gender and nor should we be worried about that other than inclusivity. we are continuing to work together as a committee. we have a very robust committee, very bright new minds and some returning members, but we've got new energy, new interest and we are covering the areas of entry. i can't say that where getting the attention we deserve, but we are doing hard work and it's hard work that's going to matter in the future. >> on that point, i know there was recently a hearing on the fix, videos that are edited with artificial intelligence to make it look like people are doing or saying things that never
happened and that seems to be an area where there was a lot of bipartisan concern and as we get closer and closer to the 20/20 election, do you think the tech companies are doing enough to address disinformation ? >> that is difficult to tell. i think that we need to be more knowledgeable so that we also can be involved in knowing what we need to look for. so that we will know ourselves when it's off course. that is a challenge. it's a challenge because we've not been down this road before but there are many other roads that are going to be coming along that we have not been before that we have to make sure we step up to the plate and it has to be bipartisan. you know, the constitution is not partisan. the responsibility to this nation is not partisan. we have allowed ourselves to fall off into a lot of partisan is him and i hope we
will see much of that big and to come to an end as we focus on what we really need to focus on for our future and that is innovation and thinking and working together. we're not in a fight with each other. we are in competition with the rest of the world and we want to be relevant. >> madam chair, there is some thought that the socialmedia companies, twitter, facebook , some of these platforms insight partisanship. >> i think that's very true and i think that's because we allow it. we've got to be a little more aggressive in making sure there's responsibility there and i think i'm beginning to see some of those questions and some of that responsibility beginning to show. >> on that point about responsibility, i wanted to ask you about what you think the tech companies responsibility is when it comes to political content .
that we've seen in recent weeks that facebook has announced it doesn't want to act as a referee when it comes to content politicians post on its site . we've seen twitter hold content of politicians to a different standard, not taking it downwhen it might otherwise violate their policies . this has been a contentious issue with democrats recently so you think that facebook and twitter should take action when the president uses their platforms to spread falsehoods? >> i do. i know there's, it gets to be a pretty close edge of freedom of speech, but at the same time, i think we ought to have a freedom of responsibility and it should be as equal as possible and notbiased . sometimes i think that many of these platforms are very aware that much of this material has been unfair and it is the environment of freedom of speech, they letit
go . they accepted. which i'm not sure it should. we're all going to be one party or the other and i guess that's a democracy but i think we need to, that's one of the reasons we need a lot of young bright people coming along that will have access to the skills and technology can challenge the administration to see whether that is real freedom of speech or whether it's a distortion both of freedom and of speech. >> representative johnson, recentb& poll showed that election security is a major issue for the majority of votersand this is something your committee has looked at as well . >> we have and i'velived that . and this country, we have always had a question as to whether or not there's real freedom in expression.
and that is critical to a democracy and that is one of the things that i feel very, very strongly about and it's not anything that necessarily happened in the past. it's what's happening now with new technology. >> you feel that this country is ready for the 20/20 elections when it comes to the technology and the voting machines? >> i can't tell you that i feel that confident that we are area and i hope that we all are working to get there. and i hope that we really are all working to make sure that everyone has a fair chance to have their votes counted accurately without a lot of interference that has not been expected. the interesting thing about getting into all this new technology is that it does test whether or not we are focusing on the right interpretation of our constitution.
freedom of speech is one thing. and fairness within that freedom of speech, accuracy , might have a challenge. >> representative johnson, i wanted to ask you about what the executive branch might be able to do to address election security. there was a recent senate intelligence report that said that the executive branch could do more to call out and raise awareness about misinformation i had of the election area do you agree with that? >> i agree with that. i also agree that there's also that executive branch has been questioned about their fairness and so you've got to start off with a clear platform. to convince people thatyou really are looking for fairness . i do think it's possible if we've got people in place that also feel that it's possible rather than people and places looking for a way toget around fairness .
that brings into play character. you've got to want to be honest to be honest. >> madam chair, when it comes to 5g, is this country ready for that new technology, for that new speed? >> i'm not sure that i can answer that a yes, sir no. i think we are whether we are ready or not with many of these technologies, were going to experience them. i think i our readiness will depend on whether or not we have the skill to protect the people and to still make sure that we can be honest and upfront on what we really are dealing with. i do think that technology has no boundaries. it's going to be the people you are guiding who decide when we get beyond the
morality of the technology. we can't continue to let things go without some degree of checking to be sure that we are reaching a fair balance. but now, whether or not we can just get out there and it's technology, to me that's like saying four years ago to some people in this body we need to look at some publicly responsibility for training the workforce because technology and innovation is going to alternate and then the response was like, let's stop it. we can't stop it. we've got to learn to deal with it with fairness and honesty and integrity. >> when you talk about the checks and balances system, what kind of a regulatory framework do you see? >> we will have to have some regulatory framework.
i believe in regulation. i believe in discipline. kind of platform we need, i'm not sure i'm in a position to tell you but i do know this area with good research, we can figure it out and i really strongly believe in good basic research to help us guide our way for the futurebecause we're going to need .>> i wanted to ask as you focus on innovation, as there is a growing pressure on big tech in washington and more calls for privacy revelation, do you worry that can have a negative impact on innovationand startups moving forward ?>> i think that's a part of the environment. very honestly, i'm not sure sure how much privacy we can depend on him getting it done. i do think there should be respectful privacy. everybody wants privacy but
at the same time , a majority of the people are participating in many of these technologies thatremove privacy . and so that is the challenge we face and that is one that we cannot run away from. we've got to be a part of the decision-making. we've got to be a part of detecting the public and that has not yet been fully determined what it is what whatever it is, we got to research. we got to be a part of it and protect the privacy as much as we can. in this country, that some ways of which it's been very helpful. a good example is having a system and perhaps in a given area that will keep the medical records so that somebody going to the emergency room in one hospital, they can go into a mainframe and find out what the history might be. of course that gets into privacy but it also gets into an essential part of privacy
that saves time, save lives and saves money . once that parameter and we must always have people in place to think about telling us reach the right platform of that parameter. to still have some protection of privacy . >> earlier this year there was a lot of discussion about passing a bipartisan federal privacy law by the end of the year . seems like those talks have largely deteriorated, but what do you think the chances are that congress passes federal privacy legislation before the 20/20 election -mark. >> i can't predict that, but i can tell you i nevergive up . you have to keep trying. and in sometimes one day it looks like it's impossible. and it passes the next day. so you just never give up. if you know what you'redoing, it's the right thing for the people . >> congresswoman, would you own a huawei phone? >> i'm not sure.
probably not now that i don't know what i'll do in the future. it depends on the technology. it is not a time when you just make up your mind you're not going todo something . i can remember when my mother said i will never use a computer. and that didn't last. and my mother died 10 years ago at 96. so most of her days there were no computers. but now, it's an everyday thing. so i'm not sure i can sit here and tell you what i will and will not do . we can only determine that the research and products. >> any bernice johnson chairs science, space and technology committee. she has been our guest on the communicators along with zakrzewski of the washington post.
>> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been providingamerica unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house , the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country so you can make up your own mind . created by people in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite providers . c-span, your unfiltered view of government . >> canada holding national elections today that will determine whether justin trudeau will continue as prime minister. we joined the canadian broadcasting corporation for news coverage and analysis of the results tonight at night eastern on cspan2. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg testified this week about his
companies crypto currency project. he will take questions from members of the house financial services community and that's live at 10 am eastern on c-span3 and thorough manner you can watch online at c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. our c-span campaign bus team is traveling across the country visiting he battleground state and the 20/20 presidential race, asking voters what issues they want presidential candidates to address during the campaign . >> an issue to me that is by far the most important, most paramount in the 2020 election is the climate crisis and i'm electing to collect the climate crisis or climate emergency so as to express the urgency of the matter reared according to that famous report we had only 11 years only until 2030 to deal with this issue and we need to understand 11 years is not a lot of time. in historical or political context at all . this is absolutely an emergency area we have to
deal withthis right now, today . >> this is something i want candidates to be talking about is the second amendment and why they want to deal with it, i agree with gun control someone buying it on the black market, why do they want to take our guns away, why do they want to take away the civilians of this country and why do they want todisarm us . >> i'd like to candidates to address how we legalize international solidarity and the trade union movement across borders and also, where they stand on the former president of brazil. >> education. >> and in education the
government tells you you have to do this and do that but there's no funding available and then the taxpayers have to come up with. >> voices from the campaign trail, part of the battleground states tour.>> next, consumer financial protection bureau's kathleen kreger testifies about a loan forgiveness program from public service workers, payday lendingpractices and regulatory rules . she gets questions from members of the senate banking committee area. >> today will receive testimony from cantor on the cfpb semiannual report. on october 7 the cfpb issued its 2019 semiannual reports. outlined the bureaus significant work between