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Proposed Tech Export Ban in US Could Affect Apple iPhones

There has been no comment from Apple expressing concerns or opinions on the matter as yet

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Try these fitness apps on Apple Watch Series 4 for marathon season. Flickr Commons

A ban has been proposed in the US on the selling of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer vision and iPhone processor technology, which could majorly affect trade, working and research of many tech giants, including Apple.

In Apple’s case, such restrictions on AI technology could hypothetically prevent the company from selling iPhones in specific markets completely, or force it to produce a version with features cut to comply with licensing rules, Apple Insider reported on Monday.

According to a document shared on Twitter by former presidential technology and national security advisor R. David Edelman, the US Bureau of Industry and Security has requested for public comments about the idea of monitoring the sales of certain technologies to other countries.

The filing is a request for public comment on “criteria for identifying emerging technologies that are essential to US national security”, due to the potential of being used as conventional weapons, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist applications, intelligence collection, or “could provide the United States with a qualitative military or intelligence advantage”, the report added.

The technologies are being tested for national security impact including deep learning technologies, computer vision, speech and audio processing, AI cloud technologies, AI chipsets, and the potential for audio and video manipulation technologies.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Apple covers a number of products and services offered to consumers as well as the ones the company is working on which are based on AI — for example, the natural language processing and AI technologies relate to Siri, along with Apple’s other machine learning work, while computer vision would cover Face ID and vision systems used in Apple’s self-driving vehicle-oriented “Project Titan”.

Other general areas raised include navigation, quantum information, sensing technology, robotics, drones, brain-computer interfaces, advanced materials, advanced surveillance and microprocessor technology.

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American citizens can share their responses on the subject only by December 19 — giving only a one-month window for responses from the public before the Bureau starts pressing the matter further.

There has been no comment from Apple expressing concerns or opinions on the matter as yet. (IANS)

Next Story

Apple Introducing Disability-Themed Emojis for its Keyboard

The new emojis would be made available this fall with a free software update on Apple devices

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world emoji day
FILE - Emoji characters are shown on the screens of two mobile phones in Paris, Aug. 6, 2015. VOA

In a bid to bring more diversity to its keyboards, Apple is rolling out 59 new emojis to its keyboard for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches this fall.

In a major update to the “couples holding hands” emoji, users would now be able to select any combination of skin tone, to personalise the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations, the iPhone-maker wrote in a blog-post on Tuesday.

Furthermore, introducing more disability-themed emojis, Apple keyboards would now have a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg as well.

disability-themed emojis
Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

“Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard,” the post said.

ALSO READ: Apple Watch Saves Man from Drowning

Other new emojis making way into Apple keyboard includes a new smiley face for yawning, a one-piece swimsuit, new food items including a waffle, falafel, butter and garlic as well as new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk. The new emojis would be made available this fall with a free software update on Apple devices. (IANS)