back to article Uncle Sam sanctions Chinese AI outfits for links to Xinjiang Uyghur human-rights abuses

The Biden Administration has cracked down on Chinese AI companies over their links to human rights abuses against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. These organizations will struggle to do business with America now that they're on Uncle Sam's Entity List [PDF]. US companies will need special …

  1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    What you you prefer a politician to be doing: governing or playing angry birds?

    I predict a large market for child size Winnie the Pooh masks in China.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      I predict a large market for child size Winnie the Pooh masks in China.

      Probably only product in China not made in China.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        I seem to remember that a very powerful person in China took offense to having been likened to a certain yellow bear?

    2. RM Myers

      Governing versus Angry Birds

      Different games for different gamers? At least with angry birds, real people don't get hurt.

      1. Chris G

        Re: Governing versus Angry Birds

        Considering a smartphone is the PDA of the day, perhaps at least some politicians are referring to their notes or making notes.

        Slowly but surely, rather than IT freeing us, it is being used by the wannabe Big Brothers of the world to put anyone who doesn't see the world in the same light as them, into a stranglehold.

        The Daily Mail (and others), if you are going to make assumptions, make sure they are bad ones.

  2. nintendoeats Silver badge

    Cool uses of machine learning:

    Microsoft Flight Simulator

    Quality control of difficult to quantify objects

    Tagging my photos

    Scary uses of machine learning:

    Pretty much all the other ones

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Do you really think they tag your photos for your convenience ?

      1. nintendoeats Silver badge

        Certainly not. In fact, I do not use any program or service that tags my photos, for pretty much this reason. I merely concede that it would be really useful if I did, because tagging photos is deeply tedious.

      2. 45RPM Silver badge

        That depends where the tagging is done, doesn’t it?

        On-device would (probably) mean that the device and software is more expensive, but in that case the service is for my convenience and paid for by my rather emptier wallet.

        Off-device, you make a very valid point. But as for all these things, if you can’t see how the service is financed then you are most likely the product being sold.

  3. martinusher Silver badge

    Its probably more about thinning the competition

    I learned one rather telling snippet of information recently while I was reading up an article on the search for the origins of the Coronavirus. We all know it originated -- or at least, was first detected, in Wuhan in the south of China and up to now I'd just thought of it as a somewhat out of the way provincial city. Its not. Its bigger than New York.

    This lack of sense of scale probably makes it difficult for us to comprehend what the Chinese are doing. All we know is that some of their companies are becoming global leaders in their fields and this tends to attract the attention of the US government by way of industry lobbying groups. The Entity List is then invoked. This list was originally intended to prevent the leak of sensitive technologies to potentially adversarial states but in recent years its being used to prevent companies in those states doing business with us -- we're buying, they're selling, not the other way around. Since we - that's the US -- is a sizable but overall not very large market from the Chinese perspective the obvious conclusion is that all these bans and lists are designed as anti-competitive measures. (Anyway, if we were truly concerned about human rights abuses then we wouldn't be trading with half the world......)

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Its probably more about thinning the competition

      So China is getting shouted at for Uyghur human-rights abuses, but America is just kneeling on black necks. Is one good and the other bad? Fact is both countries are pushing carbon emissions up a lot and don't seem to care.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Its probably more about thinning the competition

      All we know is that some of their companies are becoming global leaders in their fields and this tends to attract the attention of the US government by way of industry lobbying groups.

      If the US companies could use slave labour or bypass intellectual property laws at home, they wouldn't have to "outsource" to China...

    3. Cynic_999

      Re: Its probably more about thinning the competition


      We all know it originated -- or at least, was first detected, in Wuhan ...


      I'm glad you added the qualification. There now appears to be quite a lot of doubt about where it actually originated, with cases being found retrospectively in other countries that predate the Wuhan outbreak by quite some time, but were not diagnosed as Covid at the time.

      Blaming China for Coronavirus is in any case a bit like blaming Greta Thunberg for climate change.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Elephant in the room

    What about TikTok? Probably the biggest source of data for training AI to recognise "western people".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elephant in the room

      For why would anyone need such an AI?

      Surely not for automated genocide bots in the WWIII holocaust

      (for anyone doubting whether such machines could exist: Look up the Ziyan Blowfish A3)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the Internet

    I’m a dog

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here here!

    In the US, it’s a citizens right to abuse and shoot each other.

    No need for Government interference.

  7. _LC_

    Sanctions based on made-up bullshit allegations

    Oh yes, the fake Uighur allegations. First the “Prove that you are not hacking us, you evil Russians!” (Anyone remember the “Prove that you have no weapons of mass destruction!”?).

    Just do a web-search for “Adrian Zenz fake Uighur”. They always have the best testimonies. Gotta hand it to them. Zenz is a fanatic Christian who declared that the Jews will burn in hell. His allegations are made up so poorly that it is actually funny. I can recommend it as comedy.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Sanctions based on made-up bullshit allegations

      There are multiple, independent, verifiable sources for the Uighur genocide. It's not even unprecedented; China has conducted "sinofication" efforts against other minorities within its borders, with great success. They consider everyone who isn't Han as subhuman.

      1. _LC_

        Re: Sanctions based on made-up bullshit allegations

        Yeah, sources pointing to Adrian Zenz. This has all been thoroughly researched by REAL journalists, not those bullshit pay-mouths.

        The way these creeps look is funny to. This one is even funnier than Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson. Where do they find those abominations?

  8. FuzzyTheBear

    Big mistake.

    the original mistake was done by a hundred companies that said " hey we can make this cheaper in China .. cost of labor is small . they make the goods and we do the money .. way better ! .. :) Ahhhhh .. yes .. displacing jobs abroad .. what a good idea .. then came the guys with the white shirts .. ( engineers they call em .. i mean .. it's strange cause that particular lot don't do engines ) So .. they arrive there with blueprints and schematics and all and start transferring knowledge to the Chinese .. the Chinese are bright .. so they jump on the bandwagon and start to educate more and more of their own , invest money we send them in high tech and all .. weapons .. We all start to feed the machine by buying their goods and from then on we were basically fried. We knew there was a certain level of risk . But the totalitarian regime over there said to itself .. " these suckers gave us an inch .. let's take the whole goddamn yard. Now it's hard to get out of this. They built a machine so complex and efficient that to defeat it will take an earth shattering event.

    These guys seeing that the west wouldn't dare attack them cause they grown so big , started to use other peoples as slaves in their factories . Yet the west didn't move. The richeous west says .. oooooo they use slave labor maybe we shouldn't buy those goods made by them " wow .. the west didn't say " let's go in . kick ass and liberate these peoples " no .. they choose to coward and play the game by giving themselves a clean conscience .. we done what we could . Liars . ! they cowarded in front of China and China is only emboldened by that cowardice.

    Nothing will change in China unless deadly massive force is used now. Nothing. We trusted our enemies , now they're laughing at our mistake.

    1. Mark Exclamation

      Re: Big mistake.

      Wish I could upvote you more than once.

    2. Shalghar Bronze badge

      Re: Big mistake.

      Its not a matter of trust or conscience, its only a matter of short term profits for a few of "us".

      The whole badly impersonated "protests" for the fictitional "human rights" are - if anything - a mere whining that "we" cannot do the same to the own citizens. Just like Merkels "excuse" for the (now "corrected") judicial impossibility to enforce an even harder lockdown without prior warning over the easter holidays also was pure complaint that she did not get what she wanted.

      Any politician complaining about "too much dependancy" from any slave labour country is free to try to correct or at least reign in the dark sides of unchecked capitalism/neoliberalism.

      Anyone ever seen such a politician put the laws where the decorative whining is ?

      Me neither.

    3. Cynic_999

      Re: Big mistake.

      How dare the Chinese educate their people!

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