Meta Warns Limiting US AI Sharing Diminishes Influence

April 10, 2024

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

Limiting tech information is a way organizations and governments prevent bad actors from using them for harmful reasons. Whether repressing the information is good or bad is a topic for debate, big tech leaders don’t want limitations. Yahoo Finance reports on what Meta thinks about the issue: “Meta Says Limits On Sharing AI Technology May Dim US Influence.”

Nick Clegg is Meta Platform’s policy chief and he told the US government that if they prevented tech companies from sharing AI technology publicly (aka open source) it would damage America’s influence on AI development. Clegg’s statement is alluding to if “if you don’t let us play, we can’t make the rules.” In more politically correct and also true words, Clegg argued that a more “restrictive approach” would mean other nations’ tech could become the “global norm.” It sounds like the old imperial vs. metric measurements argument.

Open source code is fundamentally for advancing new technology. Many big tech companies want to guard their proprietary code so they can exploit it for profits. Others, like Clegg, appear to want global industry influence for higher revenue margins and encourage new developments.

Meta’s argument for keeping the technology open may resonate with the current presidential administration and Congress. For years, efforts to pass legislation that restricts technology companies’ business practices have all died in Congress, including bills meant to protect children on social media, to limit tech giants from unfairly boosting their own products, and to safeguard users’ data online.

But other bills aimed at protecting American business interests have had more success, including the Chips and Science Act, passed in 2022 to support US chipmakers while addressing national security concerns around semiconductor manufacturing. Another bill targeting Chinese tech giant ByteDance Ltd. and its popular social network, TikTok, is awaiting a vote in the Senate after passing in the House earlier this month.”

Restricting technology sounds like the argument about controlling misinformation. False information does harm society but it begs the argument “what is to be considered harmful?” Another similarity is the use of a gun or car. Cars and guns are essential and dangerous tools to modern society, but in the wrong hands they’re deadly weapons.

Whitney Grace, April 10, 2024


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