New restrictions on Alibaba’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects were announced in the United States. Penalties are stricter on exports and are linked to the hardware required for AI. Likewise, all the tools that are linked to chip manufacturing, these would be crucial to what is understood to be China’s commercial and military ambitions.
Many tasks performed in Alibaba’s cloud rely on a powerful computing system designed in AI projects. Algorithms for chatbot dialog and video analysis tasks have been found here. This has been built with chips belonging to U.S. companies, such as Intel and Nvidia. The Biden administration has also taken the initiative to ban all exports for use in AI algorithms that are used to benefit Chinese companies.
Controls in the United States
Some radical controls are designed to keep the AI industry trapped in what is understood to be a “dark age”. On the other hand, countries such as the United States and other Western countries are still well ahead. Among the blocking restrictions is the export of chip manufacturing equipment and design software. The regulation also prohibits the world’s leading silicon factories, including TSMC of Taiwan and Samsung of South Korea, from manufacturing their advanced chips through Chinese companies.
Gregory Allen, director of the AI governance project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has argued that “AI technology is the future; we and our allies are going there, and you can’t come there,” in a clear allusion to China. This group of experts, who are located in Washington DC, promote the refusal of the Asian country to have the technology or the objective that the United States has technologically proposed.
In this regard, Tufts University professor Chris Miller understands that this cannot be compared to the blockade during the period known as the Cold War. For the author of the book “Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology”, currently, “the logic is to throw sand in the gears”, in relation to diplomatic disputes.
Advancing and avoiding the progress of others
The actions taken by the Biden administration come against the backdrop of a decade-long boom in Artificial Intelligence. These new developments have been coupled with progress within the framework of computing power. These projects are pioneering machine learning algorithms that train supercomputers with thousands of graphics processing units (GPUs).
All these chips, which are used by computers and are originally intended for gaming, are also very useful for performing mathematical operations. At this point, any AI ambitions China has will depend, to a large extent, on obtaining U.S. silicon.