The Future of A.I. Regulation
AI Law and the War for AI Supremacy
JULY 22ND, 2022 19:40 PM MONTREAL, CANADA.
While I complain publically about the lack of a governing global body for A.I. regulation that’s independent, most BigTech firms pretend like they regulate themselves. Nobody actually trusts that they are doing this properly.
The most impressive A.I. and tech regulation I’ve seen is actually coming out of China. The American narrative on this is that they are anti-capitalistic. I find that attitude interesting.
In the intensifying race for global competitiveness in artificial intelligence (AI), the United States, China and the European Union are vying to be the home of what could be the most important technological revolution of our lifetimes. In reality, I believe the EU while having among the most comprehensive AI, data and privacy regulations won’t be able to compete in R&D or artificial intelligence. They are economically redundant if not politically quiet.
Both China and the EU are crafting new artificial intelligence regulations. More recently Canada and the UK have followed suit. In Canada, The Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022 features three pieces of legislation: the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.
A.I. AS SYSTEMS OF BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION AT SCALE
Even as AI is becoming more democratized with new volunteer community projects, AI governance proposals are also developing rapidly, with the EU proposing an aggressive regulatory approach to add to its already-onerous regulatory regime. It’s not clear how the EU would enforce these policies on powerful American and Chinese firms. The UK cannot even decide on Meta’s acquisition of Giphy. To say that there is a chronic lack of regulation in tech and on the internet globally, would be an understatement.
Other countries are rejecting the stricter EU and China regulatory influences. There’s some evidence that the UK rejects EU approach to artificial intelligence in favor of ‘pro-innovation’ policy. It appears that post-Brexit, the UK government has set out plans for AI that diverge markedly from the EU. Rather than a single regulator, oversight will be left to a multitude of regulators which will tailor rules for sectors ranging from broadcasting to healthcare.
However what we most need in the world is consensus for global rules that value fairness and ethical AI, free from tamping by Governments or the BigTech firms that spend so much on lobbying in their own economic and shareholder self-interests. Governments have not been particularly good at making sure there is rule of law online or even the protection of human rights, for a variety of reasons. The legal frameworks cannot keep pace with digital innovation, so the experts tell us.
The U.S. wants to ensure that A.I. regulation does not undermine its competitive advantage of having more talent in the way of immigrants and top Universities around R&D vs. China’s rise to prominence and in the research community. What we have here is a good old battle for A.I. Supremacy in a new cold tech-war. It’s essentially, the reason I began this Newsletter and why it is called AI Supremacy.
I also run another Newsletter about A.I. called Artificial Intelligence Survey:
THE AXIS OF AI SUPREMACY
In truth, it does not matter what the U.K, Canada, Australia or the EU does around artificial intelligence or its supposed regulation. China and the United States of America control the axis around the significant economic leverage and rulership over the next phase of Capitalism called Surveillance Capitalism, that is at stake here.
If TikTok’s owners ByteDance are about to make their own computer chips, it can only mean one thing. It suggests that the corporate espionage and bribing to get the specs of TSMC by SMIC have been shared with ByteDance as well. This suggests ByteDance is fully cooperating with the CCP, we have of course known for quite some time. Both the U.S. and China are actively leverage their mower powerful BigTech companies as weapons for control in the global economy. This puts the future of A.I. regulation in a delicate balance.
The UK’s proposal would see responsibilities split among regulators, as the government looks to diverge from the European Union’s centralized authority approach. Yet with controversy in how China uses TikTok’s data and facial recognition face prints, this also suggests the U.S. may choose to block TikTok’s app in its app stores as a means of trying to tame the ByteDance beast. The problem is of course Chinese apps are just better and more entertaining, more innovative and more resemble the super-apps like WeChat. TikTok is the western super app of the 2020s. It’s more than Entertainment and more than just a conditioning tool.
With regional authorities having their own interpretation what is good Tech, data, privacy and A.I. regulation, this patch quilt approach does not work. The EU itself has proposed AI regulation that attempts to ensure that Europeans can trust what AI has to offer. While most AI systems pose limited to no risk and can contribute to solving many societal challenges, certain AI systems create risks that we must address to avoid undesirable outcomes. But when its American and Chinese firms that prevent the most risk, how do those apps, services and firms not encroach on the digital rights of members of the EU?
ByteDance in the Spotlight
If ByteDance is an extension of the will of the PLA or CCP, what is Meta, Google or Microsoft? Corporations are being used on a chess board for control over the future global economy, IP, influence, citizen data and systems of behavior modification at a scale we have never seen before. Nobody really knows where this might lead.
Companies like ByteDance, JD.com, Xpeng, Alibaba, Baidu, Didi and others will be incredible vehicles to the globalization of Chinese influence and dominance. ByteDance began posting a plethora of job openings on their website, all seeking hires related towards chip development, with them seeking at least 31 chip engineers. If it’s true that SMIC has made progress in building the sorts of chips that TSMC is known for, it means China is ramping up a way to be independent from potential sanctions from the U.S. and global community.
According to analyst firm TechInsights, Chinese foundry SMIC has begun shipping chips for a Bitcoin miner SoC since July 2021 based on its 7nm process node. SMIC has produced what appears to be an almost flawless 7 nm node despite not having access to sophisticated semiconductor production tools and US restrictions placed on it. As the node develops in SMIC’s labs, this could eventually result in real 7nm logic and memory bitcells.
The race to get TikTok blocked in the U.S. is on as its advertising is growing too fast for Meta or Google’s liking. Brendan Carr, one of the FCC’s commissioners, shared in late June via Twitter a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai that pointed to reports and other developments that made TikTok non-compliant with the two companies’ app store policies.
According to CNBC, Carr’s letter, dated June 24 on FCC letterhead, said if the Apple and Alphabet do not remove TikTok from their app stores, they should provide statements to him by July 8.
While B.A. 5 proliferates the world as the new Deltacron, and China’s housing sector disintegrates with boycotts on mortgage payments of corrupt real-estate powers unable to keep building in a financial real-estate reckoning, the rhetoric around the world about A.I. regulation just means the AI arms race is ramping up.
Taiwan & The Cold-Tech War
The United States pumping weapons into the Ukraine, are closer to global conflict with China than ever before. If they bait China into invading Taiwan, such as with the visit from Pelosi, August, 2022 could be a very interesting month in global history. Of course if China invaded Taiwan and took SMIC for itself, the U.S. could immediately fall into a deep recession.
In the militarization of A.I. and for global dominion, the old empire doesn’t want a new power to usurp its superiority. This as in many ways American democracy and capitalism are in a state of real failure, civil unrest, low trust levels and where Silicon Valley have and a Billionaire class make it seem like America is closer to a Plutocracy than perhaps ever before.
After reading through some of the documents of different nations, China’s regulation on technology while seemingly draconian (e.g. capping how much minors can play video games), actually for A.I. appears to be the most responsible, cautious and closest to some semblance of rule of law outside of the EU. The problem being, the CCP is itself of course above the rule of law. In the U.S., so are the most powerful corporations.
The proposed EU Artificial Intelligence Act and its intersections with the EU General Data Protection Regulation could present compliance issues for data compliance officers across the continent, but in terms of A.I., regions like Europe, the UK and Japan, belongs to the past. Twenty years ago, there was a huge gulf between China and the United States on AI research. Even before the 2020s began, China had surged to rapidly catch up. The battle for A.I. supremacy may be one of the most important determining factors of our global collective future, we just don’t know it yet.
The inclusion of AI issues in the new EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC) may mean the U.S. under this administration at least is aligning more with the EU. Since 2017, at least 60 countries have adopted some form of artificial intelligence policy, a torrent of activity that nearly matches the pace of modern AI adoption. However like in all history, it’s the victor that writes the rules.
If you value my independent perspective, accountability journalism, I have no issues calling out BigTech or China, but admit that we remain tethered to the fate of both. Thanks for reading.
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