- A set of regulations from the U.S. Commerce Department will require American companies manufacturing specific types of geospatial software to apply for a license to sell software abroad. Only exports to Canada will be exempt, reports Reuters.
- The regulation applies to companies who meet four criteria, which focus on software products that extract positive and negative samples of an object, reduce pixel variation, trains a neural network and uses it to identify objects in geospatial imagery.
- The Trump administration mandate, which went into effect Monday, deems the software tools control-worthy since they could "provide a significant military or intelligence advantage to the United States." A public comment period ends March 6.
Industry is wary of broad government regulation which could hamper product innovation. In turn, regulators are cautious of what geopolitical impact the tech industry's global growth might have. The focus of the regulation strikes a balance between the two forces.
Due to the open source availability of some of the technological elements that power geospatial software, rules in this field are "potentially less impactful than one might imagine," said Robert Cheetham, founder and CEO of Azavea, in an interview with CIO Dive.
"Because so much of this work is happening in an open intellectual commons, from which everyone is drawing, contributing and participating in, it narrows the scope of what the regulation could cover," said Cheetham, whose B-corporation builds geospatial applications for civic and social impact.
On Monday, the Trump Administration also proposed a set of guidelines meant to orient federal agencies when creating regulations for AI used in the private sector, GeekWire reported. The framework is aimed at avoiding "regulatory overreach," government officials said.
"Europe and our allies should avoid heavy handed innovation-killing models, and instead consider a similar regulatory approach," the Trump administration said in a press release obtained by GeekWire. "The best way to counter authoritarian uses of AI is to make sure America and our international partners remain the global hubs of innovation, shaping the evolution of technology in a manner consistent with our common values."