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.