In recent years US lawmakers and presidents have expressed concern that China is gaining an edge over the US in AI technology. The report seems to offer hard evidence of one area where that shift has already occurred.
“It bolsters the case for why we need to be setting parameters around this type of technology,” says Alexandra Seymour, an associate fellow at the Center for New American Security who studies the policy implications of AI.
There is growing bipartisan interest in the US in restricting Chinese technology worldwide. Under president Trump, the US government imposed rules designed to restrict the use of Huawei’s 5G technology in the US and elsewhere and took aim at China’s AI firms with a chip embargo. The Biden administration levied a more sweeping chip blockade that prevents Chinese companies accessing cutting edge chips or semiconductor manufacturing technology, and has placed sanctions on Chinese providers of face recognition used to monitor Uyghur Muslims.
Further efforts to limit the export of face recognition from China could perhaps take the form of sanctions on countries that import the technology, Seymour says. But she adds that the US also needs to set an example to the rest of the world in terms of regulating the use of facial recognition.
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