The 5 most important tech lines in Biden’s State of the Union

We watched the 2022 State of the Union so you don’t have to.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) look on during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. During his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden spoke on his administration’s efforts to lead a global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, work to curb inflation, and bring the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden touched on tech a few times in the 2022 State of the Union address.

Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night was dominated by Ukraine, inflation and COVID, but he had far more to say about tech than any of his recent predecessors. From promoting high-tech manufacturing to protecting kids, Biden was urging Congress to stop playing around and finally, actually channel its enthusiasm for bashing tech into some sort of action.

After all, Biden can’t make the laws. By signaling the bills he’d like to sign and the kinds of solutions he’d be willing to fund, though, he can set priorities. Here’s what he said should be at the top of the list.

Bringing chips to America

Biden touted Intel's plan to build a $20 billion cluster of factories in Ohio , even bringing CEO Pat Gelsinger to the State of the Union as his guest. Biden called the Columbus plants “a field of dreams” and “the ground on which America’s future will be built.”

He also urged the House and Senate to reconcile their respective versions of U.S. competitiveness bills, which focus heavily on domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and ready a unified approach for his signature. If they do, Biden noted that Intel could spend up to $100 billion.

Keeping kids safe online

Biden lamented the mental health struggles of young people, which he linked in part to “the harms of social media.” He said he wants to ban the collection of personal data on kids and stop ad targeting to them — and insisted protecting children is part of a bipartisan agenda. “We must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they’re conducting on our children for profit,” Biden said.

The White House also called earlier in the day for platforms to put the safety of young users at the center of their design, and for an end to “discriminatory algorithmic decision-making that limits opportunities for young Americans.” To underscore the point, Biden invited Meta whistleblower Frances Haugen as another of his guests.

Protecting online privacy

President Biden also seemed to call for general online privacy legislation, which he touted as a way to protect kids. But definitely don’t hold your breath on this one: The bipartisan hopes supporting such a bill have been dashed over and over in the face of arguments over the details.

Unionizing workers

Biden reiterated his support for the PRO Act , which would help gig workers unionize (among other things). “When a majority of workers want to form a union, they shouldn’t be able to be stopped,” he said. He also announced his administration's intention to hire workers “based on skills, not just their degrees.”

Promoting competition

Biden returned to his concern about corporate consolidation. “Capitalism without competition is exploitation,” he said. While he didn’t call out tech directly — or give a nod to the tech-focused antitrust legislation moving through Congress — he previously has made clear it’s a target of his administration’s efforts. He also reiterated his call for a 15% global minimum tax for corporations.

The tech companies may be reassuring themselves that Congress is still too scrambled to come down hard on them. But if they were hoping to go unmentioned entirely, Biden’s speech was a reminder lawmakers will want to come together. Eventually.


Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

Keep Reading Show less
Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more .

Keep Reading Show less
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison ( @dgoodison ) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

Keep Reading Show less
Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich ) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.


Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

Keep Reading Show less
Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

Latest Stories