Cloud Computing Firms Under U.S. Scrutiny
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The U.S. White House is reportedly mulling over mandating cloud computing companies to disclose certain customer data. This impending directive stems from an anticipated executive order targeting artificial intelligence (AI) practices.
The proposed directive would instruct the Commerce Department to devise regulations compelling prominent cloud service providers, including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, to reveal when customers acquire computing capabilities exceeding a set limit. Though the order remains in the drafting phase, alterations to its specifics are possible.
Drawing parallels from the financial sector, there are analogous "know-your-customer" mandates, like the decree requiring businesses to report cash dealings surpassing $10,000, aimed at deterring money laundering and related illegal undertakings.
The driving force behind this potential directive is the U.S. government's intent to proactively identify potential AI hazards, especially those originating from overseas entities. For instance, if a Middle Eastern company embarked on creating an expansive language model using Amazon Web Services, this proposed regulation would ideally provide U.S. authorities with a preemptive alert.
This proposed regulation symbolizes a potential shift towards viewing computing power - the foundational technical prowess AI systems need - akin to a vital national asset. Activities like Bitcoin mining, video game development, and operating AI constructs such as ChatGPT necessitate substantial computing resources.
If ratified, entities like OpenAI and think tank RAND Corporation, who've championed similar data-disclosure initiatives, would hail this as a victory. Conversely, some view this as potentially morphing into a surveillance tactic if not judiciously enforced.
Klon Kitchen, an affiliated senior researcher at the American Enterprise Institute specializing in national security and burgeoning tech, emphasizes the cruciality of specifics. He notes, "The approach is understandable, but we must strategically discern the adversarial evolution of such models."
Official statements remain elusive, with the White House refraining from comments and the Commerce Department redirecting inquiries to the White House.
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