According to Reuters, the Trump administration took steps to restrict exports of artificial intelligence software in order to protect sensitive technologies from competitors such as China.
Under a new federal government rule, companies that export certain types of geospatial imaging software from the United States must apply for a license to send it to other countries (except Canada). The regulation took effect on January 6.
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The new rule covers software that can be used for sensors, drones, and satellites to automate the process of targeting for military and civilian purposes.
“They want to keep American companies from helping the Chinese make better AI products that can help their military,” said James Lewis, a technical expert at the U.S. Center for International Strategic Studies.
The rule currently only applies to the United States, however, US authorities can later submit it for review by the parties of the Wassenaar Agreement, which could lead to 42 countries implementing a similar regulation.