US announces AI software export restrictions for China

Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge

The US will impose new restrictions on the export of certain AI programs to China.

The ban, which comes into force on Monday, is the first to be applied under a 2018 law known as the Export Control Reform Act or ECRA. This requires the government to examine how it can restrict the export of “emerging” technologies “essential to the national security of the United States” — including AI. News of the ban was first reported by Reuters.

When ECRA was announced in 2018, some in the tech industry feared it would harm the field of artificial intelligence, which benefits greatly from the exchange of research and commercial programs across borders. Although the US is generally considered…

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