The Trump administration took measures on Friday to crimp exports of artificial intelligence software as part of a bid to keep sensitive technologies out of the hands of rival powers.
Under a new rule which goes into effect on Monday, companies that export certain types of geospatial imagery software from the United States must apply for a license to send it overseas except when it is being shipped to Canada.
The rule will likely be welcomed by the industry, Lewis said, because it had feared a much broader crackdown on exports of most artificial intelligence hardware and software
The measure covers software that could be used by sensors, drones, and satellites to automate the process of identifying targets for both military and civilian ends, Lewis said, noting it was a boon for the industry, which feared a much broader crackdown on exports of AI hardware and software.
Reuters first reported that the agency was finalizing a set of narrow rules to limit such exports in a boon to US industry that feared a much tougher crackdown on sales abroad.
The rule will go into effect in the United States alone, but US authorities could later submit it to international bodies to try to create a level playing field globally.
It comes amid growing frustration from Republican and Democratic lawmakers over the slow roll-out of rules toughening up export controls, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, urging the Commerce Department to speed up the process.
“While the government believes that it is in the national security interests of the United States to immediately implement these controls, it also wants to provide the interested public with an opportunity to comment on the control of new items,” the rule release said.