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U.S. Considering Curbing China’s Cloud Access, Official Says

Washington is considering measures to restrict China’s access to cloud computing services provided by American companies as it pushes to curb Beijing’s efforts to develop artificial intelligence for military use, a senior U.S. official said in an interview.

The U.S. on Tuesday beefed up controls on exports of advanced chips to China, planning to tightly restrict shipments of advanced semiconductors used in AI. However, it is believed that the Asian nation could utilize technology based in the cloud in its drive to develop artificial intelligence systems, including for its military.

“We’re looking at what the best way to control that, if we can, is, and that requires consultation with industry,” Alan Estevez, U.S. under secretary of commerce for industry and security, told Nikkei Asia in Tokyo on Saturday. He added that his government is not trying to impede industry. 

“Cloud-based technologies are already fairly ubiquitous,” Estevez said on the sidelines of the Mount Fuji Dialogue policy forum, where he was a keynote speaker.

“Now, AI itself is also fairly ubiquitous,” he continued. “The concern is … AI in the future will probably command and control military logistics [and] military radar, [and] electronic warfare capabilities will be advanced. So we want to make sure that we’re controlling the use.”

Source: Nikkei Asia