Witness Urges Senate to Target Companies That Help China

Witness Urges Senate to Target Companies That Help China

(USNewsBreak.com) – The United States and China have struggled with relations for some time. Tensions between the two nations have run high over matters such as Taiwan and Beijing’s burgeoning military efforts. Now, one person is urging Congress to hold China and US companies working with Chinese firms accountable for human rights violations.

In a recent Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law hearing, a senior fellow at the Foundation for American Innovation warned that China is using rapid artificial intelligence (AI) developments to carry out human rights violations. According to Geoffrey Cain, the country is using the technology to increase its “surveillance state” to watch over all its citizens. In his speech, Cain said the Asian nation could do so because of the “connivance and complacency of major American technology firms,” according to Fox News.

During his remarks, Cain turned his attention to China’s “Sky Net,” which reportedly surveils seemingly mundane operations such as tracking ethnic minorities and foreign journalists. Specifically, he called out the country’s penchant for its notorious treatment of Uyghurs, using AI to “relentlessly” persecute the race. Instead of working with China, which Cain says would do the “world a disservice,” the US companies should focus on leading AI innovation and drawing talent to America, away from Beijing — and Congress should consider criminalizing business activities that directly or indirectly support human rights abuses.

Cain isn’t the only one raising alarms about China’s actions. In May, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, also warned about an operation in the country. “Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence,” he said to Nikkei Asia, was nearly neck-and-neck with Microsoft’s OpenAI and Google in what he noted is an “enormously competitive” race. In his statement to the publication, he seemingly referred to China ambiguously by claiming that “certain nation-states will use AI” to carry out various cyber operations, including attacks and influences.

Yet, Smith added that the Ukrainian war had also taught technology innovators a valuable lesson about how advances, when properly pursued, can also strengthen defensive capabilities. He stated that entrepreneurs were “using AI to detect” foreign “cyber influence” and “disinformation campaigns.”

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