History repeats itself : US to put embargo on export of AI & Robotics related technology.

Technology has been always the ultimate power, in the hands of autocrats and politicians. And they have used it not to create and better human life, but to deny and and most often kill.

Also, for them the acquisition of technology has always been a source to be one step ahead of competitor nations.

Long way back, about 4 decades ago, during the height of the cold war, United States started putting embargo on the exports of technology which was even remote related to do anything with nuclear science and missiles. The available technology was a privilege. Which was available to only a few friendly nation, and countries like India suffered for a very long time, for being on the other side of the fence.

Curb on technology export has been the best kind of ‘royalty’ system, where ‘loyalty’ is the ‘royalty’. And the proof has more often than not lies in shed of blood.

With the circle of life, history has repeated itself. Instead of missiles and atomic bombs, economy and trade is the new cold war. And that calls for a ban again, on export of weapons and related technology.

And when the war is economic and trade centered, anything which aids the economic proliferation of a nation, becomes a weapon.

In today’s world when AI has been termed as ‘fourth industrial revolution’, AI & ML with Robotics are the weapons and their export should be limited to only loyal nations. Thus thinks, the United States Of America.

US government made an announcement yesterday in it’s Federal Register called- Review of Controls for Certain Emerging Technologies, of such embargo.

Export controls are a “key component of the effort to protect sensitive U.S. technology,” the US government wrote in the Federal Register. Commerce Department is beginning to fulfill its new responsibility to draw up controls on emerging technologies.
It is asking for public comment on the definition of emerging technologies. The starting point is a broad list that includes biotechnology, AI, quantum technology, robots and advanced surveillance.

This has started with another communist state, but the collateral damage would be felt by other nations like India soon.

It is now imperative for countries like India to go ballistic on AI & ML related technology, with a renewed thrust so to safeguard it’s interest. A repeat of caught in a situation like ‘Missile Technology Embargo‘ would be an indeed foolish one.

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Canada government’s one-third entities have already adopted AI.

Indian government is still stuck at least 5 years behind in the myriad confines of ‘Digital India’ and almost defunct ‘Startup India’. There are however far more progressive governments. Those who have already embraced artificial intelligence and related technology in a big way.

Canada government’s almost one-third of entities have already adopted artificial intelligence in some or other way. Altogether, the Canadian government has spent more than $8.4 million since 2015 in acquiring these capabilities.

At $4.3 million, the Canada Revenue Agency has spent the most, at least from Nov. 4, 2015, to Sept. 18, 2018 — the dates its entities reported on.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) were also big spenders. They spent more than $1 million each for various types of AI, including “chatbots.”

ESDC has used free open-source chatbots, but also spent $466,750 on another version of the technology.

IRCC bought its own for $150,442, but says its version of the software is capable of understanding complex questions and responding to several , in real time, at all times.

Indian government now in it’s fag end of current term need to show it’s resolve to ‘Vikas’ by adopting new technologies which are rapidly changing the world. It however seems less likely when next half odd years seems to be over-taken with bitter rival political blood-bath. The casualty would be India, because six months matter a lifetime, when a new industrial revolution is unfolding.

The politics of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence, in settings as diverse as politics, commerce, policing and warfare, amplifies longstanding prejudices circumscribing access to the political public sphere, changing our relations to ourselves and others.

To the algorithm it does not matter whether the target is for capital or for the state: it is indifferent in this sense.

I do think that this relationship between machine learning and capital continues to shift and change. For example, the Cambridge Analytica algorithms were used in commercial and political spheres and in both cases the target output for the algorithm was a propensity to be influenced in a specific way by targeted media (Louise Amoore).

There has been public outcry at the effects of such algorithms on the democratic process –particularly in the Brexit referendum and the election of Trump – but similar algorithms are being used every day to police cities, to stop or to detain people at multiple borders, from railways stations to shopping malls.


This is what US Congress feels about AI Industry: AI systems should be accountable and inspectable

Starting in February 2018, a sub-committee on Information Technology, belonging to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of US House Of Representatives, held a series of hearing on artificial intelligence (AI).

In connection with hearings, the staff of sub-committee met with experts from academia, industry, government and AI industry.

A white paper titled : “Rise Of The Machines – Artificial Intelligence and its growing impact on US policy” is the result of it.

Following are the findings of the sub-committee from the paper:

a) AI is an immature technology and its abilities are still evolving.

b) Workforce is definitely being affected by AI, but the kind of impact, is yet to be assessed. Whether it is good, bad or neutral.

c) AI requires huge amount of data, which may not only invade the privacy of the constituents of state, but may also perpetuate inherent bias.

d) To account for potential biases in the AI systems, federal and state agencies that use AI systems and make consequential decisions about people and welfare, should ensure that such systems are accountable and inspectable.

e) AI has the potential to disrupt every sector of society, in ways which could be both anticipated and unanticipated.

f) US cannot maintain the global leadership in AI, unless the Congress and Executive branch leads the efforts from front. (So while the concerns about technology is there, Congress definitely wants US to lead the AI industry). Federal government hence should increase spending on research and development of AI technology.

g) Federal government should also increase spending in education and training of workforce. So that they learn the necessary AI skills are are AI ready.

h) Federal privacy laws and regulations should be review. As in how they apply to AI jurisdiction and if necessary, to incorporate AI factor.

i) Any regulatory approach to AI should also consider the risk to public safety and consumers. And ensure that existing frameworks address such risks. If a risk is find to be falling outside existing framework, then modifications and additions to be applied to it.