What to Expect From Jared Kushner's Tech Summit on Monday With Google, Amazon and Others

While Jared Kushner's Monday summit on ways to improve government technology in Washington may be as much about PR as it is about overhauling federal IT systems, there will be discussions on substantive matters.

The parties will likely talk about improving defense and anti-terrorism technology, Height LLC analyst Nils Tracy said.

Large tech companies such as Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google, Facebook Inc.  (FB) and Microsoft Corp.  (MSFT) already play a role in those areas. 

"They do both government applications that are used for that purpose and co-investment in VC deals with the government," Tracy said.

The expected attendees reportedly include Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)  CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple Inc.  (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Oracle Corp. (ORCL)  Co-CEO Sara Catz, IBM Corp. (IBM)  CEO Ginni Rometty and others.

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The day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during practice for a Congressional baseball game, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page about using artificial intelligence and social media to help stop terrorism. Facebook also posted about working with governments and other parties on terrorism in its newsroom.

Editors' pick: Originally published June 16.

Alphabet's Schmidt chairs the Department of Defense's Defense Innovation Advisory Board, which the government describes as "an effort to enhance DoD's culture, organization and processes by tapping innovators from the private sector in Silicon Valley and beyond." Amazon's Bezos, LinkedIn co-founder-turned-VC Reid Hoffman and Instagram Chief Operating Officer Marne Levine also sit on the DIAB.

The government's venture capital vehicle In-Q-Tel has made deals with the tech sector. Microsoft recently invested alongside In-Q-Tel and Bain Capital Ventures in virtual workspace developer Frame. Google bought In-Q-Tel portfolio company Apigee, which develops application program interfaces allowing software to interact, for $625 million last year.

Kushner could also bring up the Federal Aviation Administration's tech systems, Moody's Investors Service analyst Gary Granovsky noted. Trump has suggested privatizing the FAA, saying that giving airlines control of the agency could improve technology.

While the meeting officially covers government technology, expect discussion of government policies on the environment, immigration, tax code changes and other issues of importance to Silicon valley.

Apple's Cook, for instance, criticized President Trump's decision to exit the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Decision to withdraw from the #ParisAgreeement was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver.

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 2, 2017

Telsa Inc. (TSLA) Chairman and CEO Elon Musk dropped out of multiple Trump councils after the Paris announcement. 

Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017

"They are at the forefront of these technologies that are critical. They can do things that the government can't," Tracy said of tech's bully pulpit.

"That's the key to the relationship between tech companies and government and that's where they get a lot of their power from."

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