SenseTime, a Chinese artificial intelligence company founded five years ago in Hong Kong, is among eight other Chinese technology firms that have recently been placed on the United States Entity List for their supposed involvement in human rights abuse regarding Muslim minorities in China. As a result of this, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is now looking over its association with the company.
A spokesperson for MIT said, “MIT has long had a robust export controls function that pays careful attention to export control regulations and compliance. MIT will review all existing relationships with organizations added to the U.S Department of Commerce’s Entity List, and modify any interactions, as necessary.”
A spokesperson at SenseTime said, “We are deeply disappointed with this decision by the U.S Department of Commerce. We will work closely with all relevant authorities to fully understand and resolve the situation.”
Many of the companies added to the list – Dahua Technology, Hikvision, iFlyTek, Megvii, Meiya Pico, SenseTime, Yitu, and Yixin Technology Company – are profound Chinese artificial intelligence companies that assisted with the surveillance programs which might have been implemented by China’s government to victimize Uyghurs among several other Muslim minorities.
At the moment, more than a million Uyghurs are thought to be kept in detention facilities. Human rights observers have said that these minorities are being tortured and are exposed to involuntary labour.
SenseTime – with a valuation of over $7.5 billion as of the end of last month – created software that China’s government used in its national surveillance program. The AI company was the first to get on-board with a MIT Intelligence Quest strategy established in 2018 with an objective to produce “technological breakthroughs in AI that have the potential to confront some of the world’s greatest challenges.” Until now, the company has helped to fund nearly 30 MIT projects.