It seems to me that any software manufacturer could modify the software it sells faster than the government could modify its restrictions to keep up.
The US government has placed software designed to train neural networks to analyse satellite and aerial snaps under new export controls – to prevent foreign adversaries using said code. The decision, made by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), is effective today. Vendors shipping software subject to the controls …
Worked just as well as the modern day farce of trying to stop copying of "copy protected" works just because there's DRM attached (i.e. not because it's actually any good).
This kind of thinking always seems to fan the flames and entrench a mafia type or two somewhere in the process, no? How is that collateral damage better than a more measured approach to stopping the undesired outcome?
The description is oddly specific about the combination of attributes required to be in the software for that software to be export-restricted. On the other hand, each attribute, itself, is general enough to match one-day utility programs anyone might write to process images of any sort.
As a researcher working on image processing (including remote sensing) I must really wonder what they think this will achieve. The tools I develop for remote sensing aren't fundamentally different from those I work on in astronomical or medical applications, or document processing. After all, AI methods are supposed to be generic. In CNNs the real slog is getting enough high-quality ground-truth data. Thus, an export ban on a trained neural network for an application might just work (not likely), but a ban on the generic code itself is hardly going to help, especially if you can buy it for e.g. document processing. And of course, there isn't an absolute shitload of code for these tasks available elsewhere, for free (<cough> GitHub <cough>).
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Projects on github may be precisely the target of this.
Those very specific specs sound like something targeted at a particular product or small set of products. A project backed by a bigco will have lawyers to deal with it. A github project might have no such resources, even if its major contributors do have that for their own supported versions.
It also sounds like a barrier to entry for innovative startups having any US component. And perhaps an opportunity for bigcos to mop up innovators on the cheap.
Isn't writing some code to normalise image stats and provide a gui to tag regions of pixels a 10 minute job in Matlab if you know its gui builder and have the image processing toolbox? I did something like this to allow someone to tag regions of a scene and generate a recolored version for eye-movement analysis a few years ago and it was trivial. My understanding is that it is this front end that gets your software classified as a munition or whatever, not using the tagged results in training some network. Absolutely crazy.
So things like LabelMe from MIT (http://labelme.csail.mit.edu/Release3.0/) could easily fall under this. Basically anybody doing image labelling as part of training will have this sort of capability. All it requires is some work to create the right labels ("Secret military facility", "Launch site", ...) and then the manual work of labelling all the images.
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I know this because Apple make you declare your encryption standards in any app you submit app with the specific reason that your app will be uploaded to apple servers in the US and they have to do that to comply, we have to write a little note to some department somewhere too.
The Chinese probably already have a copy of all the tools that Uncle Sam paid countless $ to develop, and probably didn't pay for them. Somone with a Green Card working on the project took a flash drive holding the code with them while visiting their parents over the holidays.
If encryption is anything to go by the making the US's export control list is another way of saying "do not develop this type of product in the US".
Its a nuisance but think of all the civil servants its keeping in a job. Quite the growth industry, I bet.
BTW -- They've been doing this type of control for at least 40 years. Its really been effective at keeping US technology on top and keeping everyone else down, hasn't it?
AIUI the actual technical contributions to RISC V come from all over the world, just as in this case. Putting it outside the US means that (a) the US doesn't actually have its hands on the |RISC V throat to choke it and (b) everybody outside the US can still contribute assuming their govts. don't try the same trick. The worst case for the foundation is that contributions stop coming from the US. The worst case for the US is the same. The worst case for non-US competitors is "meh".
Repeat that for anything else the US wants to choke.
Apropos this particular case, does it supposedly cover QGIS? The registrant for qgis.org is in SA.
Now see here. The 99% only pay for most of it. We1 pay a (laughably small) portion of our income into the Federal War On Everything fund, too.
When you live in a fast-failing nation, appearances are important.
On a more serious and sombre note, I'm afraid a large fraction of that 99% are quite keen on murdering foreigners. You can certainly argue that they're dupes of the wealthy, but that doesn't mean they don't sincerely support the war-mongering and such. I see comments daily from Trumpistas who will swear to their dying breath every move that man2 makes is pure gold.
1In both the states where my wife and I maintain domiciles, our household income is in the top 1%. It's nowhere close to the national top 1%, of course, or to the top 0.1% in those states; but depending on your definition...
2Or rather his handlers, but that's not a distinction these folks generally make.
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