The US will ban Chinese artificial intelligence, CCTV and facial recognition companies from using Intel and Nvidia chips

For decades, world powers have contested supremacy in many respects, a clear example is technologies. Cybersecurity specialists mention that China has been surpassing US achievements in the field of artificial intelligence-powered applications and technology for at least a couple of years.

This has not gone unnoticed by researchers on American territory, so a strategy to curb the development of artificial intelligence in China is getting ready. This plan involves a ban on the sale of technology developed or manufactured in the US to some companies based in the Asian giant; in addition, the American government would justify this new move as part of a campaign against the Chinese government’s abuse against ethnic Muslim minorities.

According to cybersecurity specialists, among the companies involved in this new ban are prominent developers of this kind of technology, such as:

  • Megvii: Image recognition software developer, considered by many to be the world’s most valuable start-up
  • iFlytek: Technology company specialized in voice recognition
  • Hikvision: Manufacturer of CCTV systems with global presence
  • SenseTime: Artificial intelligence developers applied to smart city systems, education and mobility
  • Yitu: Artificial vision and voice recognition device developer

Just like companies like Huawei and ZTE, these organizations, among others, face tough sanctions imposed by Donald Trump’s administration.  In this case, the companies mentioned depend heavily on the technical development and investigations available in the US. An example is the firm SenseTime, which has formed partnerships with organizations such as the Masachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for joint research. Other Chinese companies, such as Yitu, have collaborated with the University of California to develop algorithms to help diagnose diseases.

For cybersecurity specialists, it is clear that the US intends to leverage its role as a global leader in semiconductors. CPUs and GPUs from large companies such as Nvidia and Intel, and chips produced by less popular companies such as ON Semiconductor and Ambarella, have played a key role in the development of artificial intelligence in China.

In addition, according to reports from the Center for International Strategic Studies, only 15% of semiconductors used by Chinese companies are manufactured in the country, indicating a clear reliance on US technology. In this regard, it has been reported that the Chinese government’s plans for artificial intelligence are to reduce that technological breach, so by 2025 China would produce 40% of the semiconductors used by its technology companies, as mentioned by cybersecurity specialists.

Although it is clear that this measure would immediately impact the development of artificial intelligence in China, specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) consider the US dominant position in the development and manufacture of semiconductors is not an invariable factor, so the US should also make significant progress if they really want to lead the advances related to artificial intelligence, because the breach between the two countries in this field remains wide.