June 23, 2024

The Catholic Transcript

Complete News World

American digital giants hold political and economic information

American digital giants hold political and economic information

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Federal University of ABC (UFAPC) Professor Sergio Amateu, in his lecture titled “AI and its Impacts on Life, Employment and Society” at the 26th National Conference of Financial Workers (Contraf-Cut) this Saturday morning (8), the major digital technology companies in the United States. The concentration of information from users around the world in the hands has attracted attention. He cited a 2022 survey in which the United States had 16 significant machine learning (AI) systems, the United Kingdom eight and China three. Canada and Germany each had two systems, while France, India, Israel, Russia and Singapore had one system per country.

“There is significant concentration in the so-called data storage and cloud services market,” continued Digital Enthusiast. “By 2021, just five companies will hold 81.2% of this global service infrastructure market,” he added. These five largest technology companies (big techs) are Amazon (with 38.9% of the market); Microsoft (21.1%); Alibaba (9.5%); Google (7.1%); and Huawei (4.6%). In the following year, 2022, Amazon and Microsoft expanded their share of this market to 40% and 21.5% respectively.

Digital imperialism – Amadeu highlighted that this international division cannot be evaluated only from the competitive and commercial point of view of companies and countries focused on AI distribution, but from the control of information decisive for national security and dependence.

In his book “Digital Colonialism: The US Empire and the New Imperialism in the Global South”, Michel Kwet argued that digital colonialism, implemented mainly by the US, is based on the control of hardware, software and connectivity. also control experiences, and it gives them rights in political, economic and cultural issues, and therefore over control of life. This is a new imperial control,” the political scientist asserted.

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“Most or almost all countries are destined to play a secondary or irrelevant role in the development ecosystem of so-called smart technologies. And the barriers to entry in this sector are rising to a higher level than in the industrial world”, highlighted Amadeu, a fighter in the battle for free software.

AI in Brazil – If Brazil is already bitter about being a country with late industrial development, Amedu stressed that the situation worsens even more in the central sector, precisely related to power, when analyzing the production of digital technologies with 100% green and yellow seal. In the World: Artificial Intelligence (AI). Despite having a significant number of universities and research centers, public infrastructures that generate large amounts of data, and a large number of state-owned IT companies, the country does not appear to be among the developers of significant AI models.

Bolsonaro support increased – Research carried out by Educação Vigiada, used in Sérgio Amadeu’s lecture, shows that 71.53% of Brazilian universities use Google emails, and 7.64% use Microsoft emails. Amedu also highlighted that during Bolsonaro’s mandate, in 2020, the Brazilian government, through the Ministry of Education, hired Microsoft to host the Integrated Examination System (CISU) in the cloud, which currently has more than 1.5 million enrollments. Students.

Another case that draws attention is SouGov.br, to be used by federal public servants, launched in 2021 during the Bolsonaro administration. By accepting the App’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, the User is asked to consent to you. For international transfers of your information to the Microsoft company responsible for the system.

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Increasingly expensive and complex – An important aspect of this increase in AI production is that it is difficult to break oligopolies in this field, as production is highly concentrated and its updating is increasingly complex and expensive.

Sérgio Amadeu showed that in 2022, industry was responsible for 32 of the most significant machine learning systems, while partnerships between industry and academia were responsible for one system, joint ventures and research consortiums were responsible for two systems each, and the academic and non-profit sectors were responsible for one system (previous years in the region evolved) no longer has any structure.

The political scientist cited an article published in the MIT Technology Review about the privatization of AI, which revealed that, currently, competing in the field “requires an enormous intensity of resources to produce worthwhile results.” Institutions have, which makes it difficult to succeed in education.

For example, the GPT-2 chat, introduced by Microsoft at the end of 2019, was trained with 1.5 billion parameters. The most recent system, the GPT-3 chat, was trained with 175 billion parameters and GPT-4 is expected to take this amount to trillions.

A competitor to GPT, PalM, developed by Google and launched in 2022, was trained with 540 billion parameters and cost about 8 billion USD (160 times the cost of GPT-2).

Challenges for Brazil to face the situation – “Scientific development researcher, Nathan Rosenberg, has shown that a country can be a user, copyist or developer of digital technologies and Brazil can be a user”, Sergio Amateu highlighted, currently, “the essential elements that support the technological revolution. These are semiconductors, storage and processing infrastructures .”

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Amedu noted that Brazil is a data supplier country for big technologies, whose users of services and products are created and trained with data from a population consisting of application developers. However, these use larger models running on the architectures of tech giants. But for the political scientist, Brazil has strategic ways to deal with this situation.

“Our real conditions are a significant number of universities, research centers, public structures that generate high-quality data, in addition to cultural diversity”, he pointed out. “We have a large number of state-owned IT companies, diversified and user friendly economy, intensive use of IT and great autonomy in managing the country’s Internet,” he added.

However, the hurdles the country must overcome to take advantage of these conditions are not easy and include a culture of minimal effort by national elites who have the resources to invest in the sector. “Added to this is the consolidation of neoliberalism in the country, which prevents significant investments in public areas for information technology”, the digital activist highlighted. “Furthermore, apart from over-reliance on basic software and hardware, we have great difficulties in training technologists, engineers and mathematicians,” he concluded.

*With contrast-cut information.