EU Proposes New AI Regulations: Last week, the European Commission proposed a slate of new AI regulations that would impose strict controls on certain “high risk” commercial AI applications and ban others entirely. Prohibited AI would include systems used for social scoring, “subliminal” manipulation, and real-time biometric surveillance by law enforcement, though certain exceptions (such as to identify specific missing children or prevent an imminent terrorist attack) would apply. Systems deemed “high risk” would be subjected to extensive inspections before deployment to ensure they are trained on well-organized and unbiased data, provide clear and transparent information to users, and are subject to human oversight. Fines for violations of the proposed regulations would be severe: up to 6 percent of the offending company’s global sales. While the regulations would be some of the strictest in the world, they have attracted criticism from advocates due to their broad exceptions for law enforcement. They would also not affect military applications of AI, which are exempted. The Commission’s proposal will need to secure approval from the European Parliament and the EU’s member states before it can take effect, a process that could take several years.
- Ban facial recognition in Europe, says EU privacy watchdog | AI’s era of “self-regulation” is coming to an end
- More: U.S. FTC opens probe into Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm | EU will investigate Nvidia takeover of Arm | Nvidia’s Arm acquisition could be targeted by Chinese regulators
FTC Warns Companies — Make AI Fair, Or Else: The Federal Trade Commission issued updated guidance on commercial AI last week, warning companies that using or selling biased AI systems, or exaggerating the capabilities of their algorithms, could constitute a violation of federal law. In the blog post, an FTC lawyer advises companies to take steps to ensure that their AI systems don’t discriminate on the basis of race or other legally protected classes. Among those steps: limiting the use of datasets that don’t include minority populations, testing algorithms for discriminatory outcomes, and opening up data and source code to outside inspection. The post warns companies to “hold yourself accountable — or be prepared for the FTC to do it for you.” While the post is not the first time the FTC has focused on fairness in AI systems, observers noted the “unusually stark language” in the new guidance and called it a “shot across the bow” for U.S. AI development.
Congress Moves Forward on a Number of AI-Related Bills: Congress has been busy since the last edition of policy.ai, moving ahead with a number of bills with AI implications:
- The Endless Frontier Act, re-introduced last week by Sens. Schumer and Young and Reps. Khanna and Gallagher, would direct $100 billion in new funds to the National Science Foundation and establish a new directorate within the agency focused on R&D in key fields, including AI. A Senate Commerce markup of the bill originally scheduled for this week has been postponed. (We covered a Senate hearing on the bill earlier this month.)
- The Safeguarding American Innovation Act, re-introduced by Sens. Portman and Carper, would address economic espionage and research security.
- The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, introduced last week by Sens. Wyden and Paul, would block federal agencies from buying personal data without a warrant or paying for services like Clearview AI that gather public information for tracking purposes.
- The STEM RESTART Act, introduced by Sens. Hyde-Smith, Kelly and Rosen and Reps. Houlahan and Baird in the House, would provide funds for mid-career workers to transition or return to jobs in the STEM workforce.
- The SECURE CAMPUS Act, introduced by Sen. Cotton in the Senate and Rep. Kustoff in the House, would bar Chinese nationals from receiving visas for graduate and post-graduate studies in STEM fields.
- The AI Scholarships-for-Service Act, re-introduced by Sens. Thune and Peters, would fund scholarships for students in AI-related fields in exchange for public service after graduation.
- The Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, introduced by Sens. Durbin and Warnock in the Senate and Rep. Bustos in the House, would address automation-related job losses through increased workforce training.
- The Combating Chinese Purloining of Trade Secrets Act, introduced by Sen. Graham, would impose stricter penalties on individuals engaged in economic espionage and tighten visa restrictions for Chinese citizens looking to pursue national security-relevant graduate coursework in the United States.
- The National Strategy to Ensure American Leadership Act, introduced by Sens. Van Hollen and Blunt, requires the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to identify the top ten emerging technology challenges facing the United States and issue policy recommendations to address each challenge.
- The Advancing American AI Act, introduced by Sen. Peters, aims to promote AI adoption and encourage AI-related programs within the federal government.
- The Rural STEM Education Act, introduced by Sens. Wicker and Rosen, would direct the National Science Foundation to fund STEM teacher training and evaluate programming for STEM education in rural areas.
- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 by a 21-1 vote. It will head to the full Senate for consideration. (We also covered a hearing on this bill earlier this month.)
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
PRC Study on Technology Transfer: A Study of Shenzhen’s International Technology Transfer Model and Measures to Improve It. This lengthy study by the government of the city of Shenzhen in southern China is an example of the country’s meticulous open-source research on international technology transfer institutions. The study’s authors acknowledge that Shenzhen has a weak research base and relies heavily on technology transfers to grow its tech sector. The study proposes creating an “international technology transfer center” that focuses as much or more on tech transfers within Shenzhen and within China as it does on importing foreign technology.
PRC Foreign Investment Notice: Notice of the Ministry of Commerce on Focusing on Constructing the New Development Pattern and Doing a Good Job of Stabilizing Foreign Investment. This notice by China’s Ministry of Commerce announces new policies to spur foreign investment in key industrial sectors in the context of PRC President Xi Jinping’s “new development pattern,” which prioritizes Chinese consumption-driven economic development as a counterweight to the U.S. strategy of decoupling. The notice urges the expansion of blacklists that bar certain foreign entities from investing in China, but the bulk of the new measures encourage foreign investment in cross-border free trade zones and other such specialized settings.
If you have a foreign-language document related to security and emerging technologies that you’d like translated into English, CSET may be able to help! Click here for details.
What We’re Reading
Report: How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments, Anna Gelpern, Sebastian Horn, Scott Morris, Brad Parks and Christoph Trebesch, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Center for Global Development, and AidData at William & Mary (March 2021)
Report: Practical Lessons for Government AI Projects: Evidence from Four Smart City Initiatives, Godofredo Ramizo Jr, Oxford Commission on AI & Good Governance (April 2021)
Book: Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence, Kate Crawford (April 2021)
Article: Deep fake geography? When geospatial data encounter Artificial Intelligence, Bo Zhao, Shaozeng Zhang, Chunxue Xu, Yifan Sun and Chengbin Deng, Cartography and Geographic Information Science (April 2021)
What’s New at CSET
- Ethics and Artificial Intelligence: A Policymaker’s Introduction by James E. Baker
- Mapping Research Agendas in U.S. Corporate AI Laboratories by Rebecca Gelles, Tim Hwang and Simon Rodriguez
- A DPA for the 21st Century: Securing America’s AI National Security Innovation Base by James E. Baker
- Foreign Affairs: Chinese Students Are Not a Fifth Column: Indiscriminate Bans Will Hurt — Not Protect — U.S. Innovation by Remco Zwetsloot and Zachary Arnold
- arXiv: Skilled and Mobile: Survey Evidence of Immigration Preferences of AI Researchers by Remco Zwetsloot
CSET maintains a crowd forecasting platform. Sign up as a forecaster, and take a look at some of the predictions so far:
- (New) Will a G7 country boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics before January 1, 2022?
- (New) What will be the value, in dollars, of U.S. exports of semiconductor chips to China in 2022?
- (New) What will be the value, in dollars, of all Chinese imports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in 2022?
- (New) What will be the value, in dollars, of all Chinese imports of semiconductor chips in 2022?
- (New) What will be the value, in dollars, of U.S. exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China in 2022?
- Foreign Affairs: For an “Ask the Experts” survey on Big Tech and U.S. national security, Foreign Affairs reached out to CSET experts Ben Buchanan, Katerina Sedova and Lorand Laskai.
- Bloomberg: A piece about the “competition narrative” associated with AI development in the United States and China cited two CSET briefs, AI Hubs in the United States by Justin Olander and Melissa Flagg and AI Hubs: Europe and CANZUK by Max Langenkamp and Flagg.
- The Economist: An article about superforecasting name-checked Foretell, CSET’s crowd forecasting platform.
- The Globe and Mail: Research Analyst Dahlia Peterson spoke to The Globe and Mail about China’s “Sharp Eyes” program for an article about a Canadian company’s ties to the Chinese government.
- Analytics India Magazine: An article in Analytics India Magazine summarized the recent data brief Mapping India’s AI Potential by Husanjot Chahal, Sara Abdulla, Jonathan Murdick and Ilya Rahkovsky.
- Nextgov: Mapping Research Agendas in US Corporate AI Laboratories, the new data brief by Rebecca Gelles, Tim Hwang and Simon Rodriguez, earned a writeup in Nextgov last week.
- May 5: CSET, AI, Autonomous Systems and Espionage: The Coming Revolution in Intelligence Affairs featuring Anthony Vinci and Robert Cardillo
What else is going on? Suggest stories, documents to translate & upcoming events here.