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U.S. plans to impose artificial intelligence export controls amid technological advances in China and Russia

The United States is considering measures to strengthen its defenses against the development of artificial intelligence technologies in China and Russia, particularly by restricting access to advanced artificial intelligence models, such as those used in platforms such as ChatGPT.

Citing internal sources, Reuters reported that the Biden administration is considering imposing restrictions on the export of proprietary or closed-source artificial intelligence models, which are the basic elements of artificial intelligence systems, due to growing national security concerns.

In response to competitive pressures in the field of artificial intelligence, the U.S. Department of Commerce is considering regulatory action to restrict the export of advanced artificial intelligence models whose underlying software and training data are strictly protected.

The move marks a further intensification of efforts by the U.S. government to resist the rapid progress of China’s artificial intelligence technology, building on previous actions to restrict the export of advanced artificial intelligence chips to Beijing.

The Chinese Embassy called the move “a typical act of economic coercion and unilateral bullying, which China firmly opposes” and said it would take “necessary measures” to safeguard its own interests.

It comes as the U.S. government revoked the export licenses of Intel and Qualcomm, preventing them from supplying certain products to Huawei, while Washington stepped up pressure on the Chinese telecoms maker.

The proposed export controls are seen as a defense strategy against potential abuse by hostile countries, particularly China, North Korea, Russia and Iran.

Artificial Intelligence Regulation and Security Concerns

In October, US President Joe Biden issued a landmark executive order to “ensure that the United States takes the lead in delivering on the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI).”

The order sets new standards for artificial intelligence security to protect privacy. This includes requiring developers of the most powerful artificial intelligence systems to share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government. Additionally, the government is calling for the development of standards, tools and tests to help ensure AI systems are safe and reliable.

According to the order, sources said that in order to establish export controls on artificial intelligence models, the United States may adopt benchmarks related to the computing power required to train the models. Once this threshold is reached, developers are required to report their AI model development plans to the Department of Commerce and submit test results to the Department.

A threshold of computing power may determine which AI models will be subject to export restrictions, according to officials and another source familiar with the discussions.

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