In August 2018, the U.S. Congress passed the Export Controls Act of 2018, imposing export restrictions on “emerging and basic technologies.” In mid-November of the same year, the U.S. Commerce Department, which oversees these restrictions, released a list of technologies to consider, including artificial intelligence areas such as computer vision, speech recognition and natural language understanding.
These restrictions will affect the export of technology to certain countries. Although it did not specify which countries, the Commerce Department’s proposal noted countries that had faced trade problems in the past. These countries include China, Russia and Iran. The Commerce Department declined to comment on the proposed restrictions. After hearing public comments, the Ministry will draw up a formal plan. This could lead to everything from new licensing rules for artificial intelligence exports to a total export ban.
Although technology industry insiders generally believe that Silicon Valley dominates the Internet, most of the world’s networks are designed and built by Americans, the New York Times reported. But now, a growing number of industry insiders are concerned that the proposed export restrictions could undermine the dominance of U.S. companies in artificial intelligence.
Technology companies, academics and policymakers have called on the U.S. Commerce Department to ease rules on artificial intelligence exports by the January 10 deadline for public comment. Their argument is three: restrictions can not only hurt American companies, but may also boost international competitors;
Federal regulations put open information on export controls under the shelf. That means the government is unlikely to ban companies and universities from publishing basic aI research. But Greg Jaeger, a lawyer at the law firm Stroock and Stroock and Lavan, which handles export controls, said the U.S. could establish controls that restrict foreign access to the information.
Too strict rules that restrict foreigners from doing certain technical jobs in the United States could also push researchers and businesses to other countries.