Another episode of escalation in the US-China tech war
Sputnik – In yet another episode of escalation in the technological war between the US and China, the government of Joe Biden, US president, has determined that the sale of chips with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to China is suspended.
The move, according to the South China Morning Post, could harm the ability of Chinese companies to carry out work such as image recognition.
The advanced chips have commercial uses, but they also have military computing applications, such as scouring satellite imagery for weapons or bases.
The information was confirmed by chip designer Nvidia Corp. The company notified that US officials told it to stop exporting two main AI computing chips to China.
The interruption promotes a loss of US$ 400 million (R$ 2.07 billion) in sales this quarter for Nvidia, whose shares fell 4% this Wednesday (31).
The company said the ban, which affects its A100 and H100 chips, designed to speed up machine learning tasks, could interfere with completion of development on the H100, the flagship chip announced by Nvidia this year.
Nvidia further said US officials said the new rule “will address the risk that covered products could be used or diverted for a ‘military end use’ or ‘military end user’ in China.”
The announcement signals a major escalation of the US crackdown on China’s tech capabilities as tensions bubble over the fate of Taiwan, where chips for Nvidia and nearly every other major chip company are made.
Without US chips from companies like Nvidia and its rival Advanced Micro Devices, Chinese organizations will not be able to affordably perform the kind of advanced computing used for image and speech recognition, among many other tasks.
Image recognition and natural language processing are common in consumer applications such as smartphones that can respond to queries and tag photos. They also have military uses, such as scouring satellite imagery for weapons or bases and filtering digital communications for intelligence gathering purposes.
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