The U.S. government ordered two of its leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) chip manufacturers to stop selling part of their products to the Chinese regime.
On Aug. 31, AMD and NVIDIA reported receiving orders from the U.S. executive to stop exporting chips to China.
The ban affects NVIDIA’s A100, NVIDIA’s H100, and AMD’s MI250 integrated circuits. These high-end chips accelerate automatic recognition tasks for human surveillance.
NVIDIA is in talks to provide alternative chips that are not affected by these restrictions. And it estimates that the new regulations will affect about $400 million of potential sales in the third quarter of 2022.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMD, and NVIDIA Corporations are 2 of the largest U.S. multinational companies in advanced technologies, including the manufacture of high-performance semiconductors, also known as AI chips. Both are headquartered in California.
Semiconductors or AI chips are electronic circuits whose components are arranged in a sheet of semiconductor material, being today a crucial part of devices such as computers, tablets, and cell phones.
Formerly, these parts were known as transistors, which occupied a large size. However, with time and technology, they became as small as 10 mm sheets, known as semiconductors or chips.
According to research, many high-end semiconductors produced in the U.S. end up in the hands of the Chinese military.
On June 22, Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET) report found that “… most of the computer chips ordered by Chinese military units are designed by U.S. companies, and outlines steps the U.S. government could take to restrict their access.”
China’s leading AI chipmaker banned from using US technology.
On Dec. 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed severe restrictions on Chinese semiconductor manufacturer SMIC.
In an effort to protect national security and trade interests, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, “We will not allow advanced U.S. technology to help build the military of an increasingly belligerent adversary.”
“The company ‘perfectly illustrates the risks of China using U.S. technology to modernize its military.'”
Also, the restrictions require U.S. exporters to apply for a license to sell to SMIC.
“Items that are required solely to produce semiconductors at advanced technology nodes, 10 nanometers or less, will be subject to a presumption of denial to prevent such key technology from supporting China’s military-civilian fusion efforts.”
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation SMIC is China’s largest semiconductor manufacturing company. Headquartered in Shanghai, it is partially state-owned.
Chinese regime uses artificial intelligence to violate human rights
According to the documentary “In the Age of AI,” released on Nov. 5, 2019, PBS Frontline claimed the Chinese regime “has detained up to a million Uighur Muslims and turned Xinjiang into a project to test other forms of radical digital surveillance.”
It also reports that “the AI system predicts which individuals are most likely to commit terrorist acts and need to be re-educated in prison.”
In this context, the U.S. government denounced severe human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region.
Representatives of the U.S. House of Congress approved, on Dec. 8, 2021, the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,” which obliges companies importing products from Xinjiang to prove that they did not employ slave labor.
The law details that “since 2017, the Chinese regime has detained 1.8 million Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang in clandestine concentration camps, as well as in official prisons.”
In addition, detainees have been “subjected to forced labor, torture, political indoctrination, and other serious human rights abuses.”
Added to this, the existence of forced labor camps has been “confirmed through witnesses, former prisoners, satellite images, and leaked documents from the Chinese regime that claim to be carrying out a targeted crackdown on Muslim ethnic minorities.”
Against this backdrop, the U.S. government blacklisted Chinese AI company SenseTime from investment.
On Dec. 10, 2021, the U.S. government added SenseTime, to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies,” accusing it of having developed facial recognition software that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uighurs, Reuters reported.
The UN also denounces the Chinese regime’s human rights violations in the Xinjiang region.
On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that “serious human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang could amount to “crimes against humanity.”
“The allegations of torture, including forced medical treatment (violation of reproductive rights) and poor detention conditions, are real.” And “they constitute crimes against humanity.”
What is certain is that the Chinese population is the most closely watched in the world. And the one with the least political, religious, freedom of expression, and conscience.
According to a statistical report, “Chinese cities represent 18 of the 20 most surveilled cities in the world.” In addition, “54% of the world’s CCTV surveillance cameras are located in China, which would amount to 540 million CCTV cameras by 2021.”