In today’s regulatory climate, Big Tech is increasingly engaging with governments and other influential groups. Google this week hosted a tech summit to better explain its products to D.C. policy experts.

According to Axios, an event this week brought about 50 representatives from groups across the idealogical spectrum — including Public Knowledge and Americans for Prosperity — to Google’s Mountain View headquarters. The company touted an “interactive program designed to dig into timely and relevant subject matter and to strengthen connections between our valued partners and our broader teams.”

The former aspect involved presentations and discussions about artificial intelligence, Search, and advertising. All have seen scrutiny, with talks of AI regulation only increasing in the coming years. Google, especially, can have products that — while advanced — are confusing, with machine learning only increasing the complexity.

This event format looks to become a regular occurrence for Google as part of a “series of quarterly policy and product summits.”

This outreach is important as Axios notes how “outside voices can be critical in shaping Washington policymakers’ views” about technology. This indirect approach to lobbying could be more influential than direct communication with skeptical lawmakers.

Google confirmed the general practice, and is “glad to have the opportunity to host people at our headquarters to explain our products and the work we do to innovate.”

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Abner Li

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