Artificial Intelligence and Strategic Trade Controls

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 6.45.56 PM

Artificial Intelligence and Strategic Trade Controls

Andrea Viski, Scott Jones, Lindsay Rand, Tucker Boyce, Jonas Siegel


Balancing the benefits and risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI), one of the most diffuse and rapidly evolving emerging technologies, is imperative when forming sound policy.

This report analyzes the threats, trade linkages and mechanisms, and policy options in light of ongoing discussions regarding the prospects for applying export controls on artificial intelligence technologies and applications.

Using open source research, findings from organized dialogues, and expert interviews, the report authors identified policy options that go beyond export controls and encompass a coordinated, comprehensive, and technical approach to garnering the many benefits of artificial intelligence while mitigating its security risks. These approaches take into account both traditional nonproliferation strategies and ongoing debates concerning national security and economic competitiveness. Urgent, cross-sector action by governments and nongovernmental entities, including exporters, technology developers, academia, and civil society, is necessary to activate cooperative tools that mitigate the risks posed by AI. Lessons learned from strategic trade approaches to AI can be replicated, in certain situations, to other emerging technologies.