International Regulatory Enforcement (PHIRE)

New Export Regulations on AI Software Could Signal Narrow Approach to Pending “Emerging Technology” Controls

January 08, 2020

Scott M. Flicker, Behnam Dayanim & Talya R. Hutchison

The U.S. Government has imposed new export controls over artificial intelligence software that is specially designed to analyze geospatial imagery. The classification took immediate effect and, as such, this software is now restricted from export to any country, or national thereof, other than Canada. Commerce intends to submit this software to the multilateral regime governing export controls, indicating a potential intent to restrict exports of this software permanently. This is the first major action by Commerce to control exports of AI technology since Congress empowered the agency to clamp down on transfers of so-called “emerging and foundational technologies.” While not technically an action under this new authority, Commerce’s initial step to rein in exports of AI could portend a more targeted, careful approach than has been anticipated.

  • Commerce is beginning to focus on controls over increasingly important artificial intelligence technologies.

  • Companies dealing in U.S.-origin AI software that analyzes geospatial imagery should carefully review any export of the software, including upgrades.

  • As a controlled item, restrictions also apply to the release of such software to foreign nationals working in the United States.

Click here to read the alert.

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