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FBI Raises Concerns Over China’s Pilfering Of U.S. AI Technology

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China’s ambitions to become a leading power in artificial intelligence (AI) have led to concerns raised by senior FBI officials, who assert that the country is engaging in the pilfering of U.S.-developed AI technology.

The FBI officials highlighted that China, along with other U.S. adversaries, is actively targeting American businesses, universities, and government research institutions to gain access to cutting-edge AI research and products.

“China and other adversaries are targeting American businesses, universities, and research facilities to steal our AI technology,” stated a senior FBI official during a background briefing call with reporters on Friday.

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“We’re seeing efforts across multiple industries to solicit and acquire U.S. technology to advance their AI programs,” the official added, with a particular emphasis on China’s national plan to surpass the U.S. as the world’s top AI power by 2030.

FBI Director Christopher Wray also sounded the alarm about China’s AI intentions at a cybersecurity summit, warning of their well-positioned capability to use AI in hacking efforts.

While the FBI remains focused on foreign acquisition of U.S. AI technology and talent, the bureau expressed concern about potential threats from foreign adversaries exploiting that technology.

The recent surge in AI use has brought both benefits and risks, with top AI executives agreeing to establish guidelines for safe AI development at a White House summit.

Meanwhile, cybercriminals are actively leveraging AI for various malicious activities, including creating convincing phishing emails and developing malware.

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The FBI also warned that violent extremists and terrorists are experimenting with AI tools to build explosives, posing additional security risks.

“We assess that AI is going to enable threat actors to develop increasingly powerful and sophisticated capabilities,” the official cautioned. “It’s not going to take them long to do it.”

As concerns over the pilfering of U.S. AI technology persist, the FBI continues to monitor and investigate potential threats while urging vigilance within the AI landscape.

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