A congressional probe has revealed that China is employing artificial intelligence (AI) to steal American technology and personal data.
The House Judiciary Committee sounded the alarm on Thursday, following a recent warning from several countries to tech leaders in Silicon Valley about China’s theft of technology.
Cyberespionage and theft by China have long been concerns for U.S. officials, but Representative Darrell Issa urged people to prepare for a future in which powerful supercomputers anticipate the actions of adversaries.
According to Mr. Issa, “One of the key activities that we see the Chinese government doing is, in fact, the predictive use of AI to both steal real intellectual property and also to deny real inventors their intellectual property.”
In its investigation, the Judiciary Committee’s intellectual property panel sought input from former American intelligence officials, including former CIA officer William C. Hannas.
Mr. Hannas, who is now an analyst at Georgetown University, testified that China’s tech transfer programs have been in motion since 1956 and are becoming increasingly dangerous with the advent of AI.
Mr. Hannas stated, “China will soon — if it has not already — used AI for cyber exploits to further its transfer agenda, an unholy marriage in which advances in the one promote progress in the other, multiplying existing threats to U.S. and allied security.”
The FBI Director, Christopher A. Wray, hosted intelligence directors from Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand to discuss the threat of Chinese tech theft. The gathering marked the first public event for the intelligence chiefs.
Mr. Wray stated that the Chinese Communist Party plans to use stolen AI to enhance its hacking capabilities.
There is growing bipartisan concern over China’s theft of technology. Representative Hank Johnson said that AI is increasing China’s ability to conduct sophisticated intrusions into federal departments, military bases, and businesses throughout the country.
Representative Jerrold Nadler added that China is aggressively working to steal Americans’ data to power its AI tools.
As China’s AI capabilities improve, American policymakers are searching for solutions to combat the technology drain. Mr. Hannas recommended the establishment of a National Science and Technology Analysis Center to forecast, analyze, diminish, and interdict foreign threats to U.S. science and technology.
According to Mr. Hannas, “The United States Intelligence Community should also be held accountable for its failure to seriously pursue science and technology intelligence, i.e. identifying and monitoring foreign science and technology threats.”