New rules from the Trump administration will make it more difficult to export artificial intelligence data, with an eye toward keeping sensitive tech out of the hands of rivals like China, according to Reuters.
The rules go into effect Monday, and require companies that export some types of geospatial imaging technology to apply for a license to send it overseas, with the lone exception being to Canada.
The law is the first one under the umbrella of a 2018 mandate by the Commerce Department to enact more stringent rules about oversights of sensitive technology. The need for this was for economic and security reasons, especially as related to rivals like China.
Initially, the agency seemed to be focusing on a much narrower set of rules. But the ones going into effect Monday are broader than what was initially reported.
These rules will go into effect only in the U.S. for now, but authorities are expected to try and take them to international bodies to level the playing field and enact global standards.
Both Democratic and Republican leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with the slow process of making more rules on exports. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently urged the Commerce Department to speed up the process.
The rule released said that the government “believes it is in the national security interests of the United States to immediately implement these controls,” but also wanted to give people enough time to view and comment on the specifics.
China is looking at developing its own artificial intelligence guidelines, with its AI industry being a robust one set to be worth $11.9 billion by 2023.
The guidelines would focus on minimizing risk and controlling the industry so it doesn’t spiral out of control like Peer to Peer (P2P) sharing did years ago.
Relations between the U.S. and China have been frosty as of late, with a trade war between the two and talks of tariffs on goods sparking uncertainty in the market.
Data from the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization last year had the two countries as the leaders in the AI market. The U.S. had several leaders in terms of AI patents filed, including IBM with 8,902 and Microsoft with 5,903. And China is home to 17 of the top 20 academic institutions filing patents.
AI patents are among the fastest-growing types of patents, too, with a 27.7 percent growth annually as of 2019.