Free Minds & Free Markets

Export Bans May Do More Harm Than Good in A.I. Tech Development: New at Reason

If handled poorly, attempts to hold back China’s innovations will backfire.

Artificial intelligenceJakub Jirsák / Dreamstime.comIt is no secret that the Trump administration wants to curb China's growing global dominance. Imposing tariffs on Chinese imports has been a key element of Trump's economic agenda. But another important piece of the counter-China plan has gone less noticed: export controls on emerging technologies to Chinese markets.

Technology progresses when researchers and entrepreneurs are able to coordinate and learn from each other's work. But tensions can arise when governments believe that open inquiry will undermine national security. Few people want ISIS to get ahold of their own drones, for instance. Andrea O'Sullivan explores how these tensions and export controls may cause problems, and even backfire, in the development of artificial intelligence technology.

Photo Credit: Jakub Jirsák /


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