Congress takes on TikTok, privacy, and AI


The TikTok ban appears to be for real this time. (Technically, “the TikTok ban or divesture but hopefully divesture” is probably more accurate, but everybody’s just calling it a ban.) Only a few weeks ago, all momentum for the ban seemed gone. Now, it’s back with a vengeance, with a couple of small tweaks and a new political strategy. And it could get a vote in the Senate in the next few days.

There’s also a new bill, known as the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA), starting to gain some traction among important people looking to pass comprehensive privacy regulation in the US. Of course, we’ve heard that before. Many times. So will the APRA succeed where other bills have failed?

On this episode of The Vergecast, we chat with The Verge’s Lauren Feiner about the many tech-related bills moving through Congress right now. There’s plenty of politicking happening at all levels of the legislature and plenty for Congress to deal with right now, but it appears tech issues are creeping up the policy priority list.

After that, we bring you an excerpt from a conversation at the Chicago Humanities Festival, where The Verge put on a series of events all about AI and creativity. In this one, we talk to two filmmakers and lifelong creatives who decided to start an AI company called Wonder Dynamics. The co-founders, Tye Sheridan and Nikola Todorovic, talk about how AI is changing Hollywood, the difference between making creatives more effective and replacing them entirely, and whether we’ll ever get a full movie from a simple text prompt.

Finally, we answer a question on the Vergecast Hotline about Apple’s Messages app… and why it’s not better.

If you want to know more on all the stuff we cover in this episode, here are a few links to get you started, beginning with the TikTok ban:

And on the other tech bills in Congress right now:

And on the Hollywood / AI panel: