U.S. healthcare may be high on China’s wish list of Western spheres of activity to infiltrate ever more deeply with artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies.
So warns the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in a fact sheet posted Oct. 22 and in comments to the press the day before from the acting director of the DNI’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC).
Presenting the information to the press, the center’s top official overseeing emerging and disruptive technologies, Edward You, told the AP that concerns are rising over Chinese companies heavily investing in U.S. and European biotechnology and pharmaceutics.
From Friday’s AP coverage:
China already has the greatest access to medical data of any country, You says. With its data collection and its advancements in technology, Beijing could one day be dominant in healthcare and leave the U.S. wholly dependent on China, he said.
“If you’re President Xi,” he said, “that’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
China’s technology-based ambitions, including those involving AI, “could eventually give Beijing a decisive military edge and possible dominance over healthcare and other essential sectors in America,” AP reports.
Meanwhile Russia is pursuing similar aims of its own. The Oct. 22 fact sheet lists among pieces in that country’s “foreign technology acquisition toolkit” intelligence services, international scientific collaboration academic collaboration, joint ventures and business partnerships, nontraditional collectors (including co-opted insiders), talent recruitment, foreign investments, government-to-government agreements, and legal and regulatory actions.
The fact sheet breaks down vulnerable U.S. technology sectors into AI, autonomous systems, quantum computing, semiconductors and the bioeconomy.
Of the latter the NCSC warns:
[As] a result of some countries’ policies, an asymmetry exists in the way information is shared, whereby the ability of U.S.-based researchers to access and use such information is denied. Compounding the security challenges is that many existing legal frameworks focus on protecting finished intellectual property or licensed/patented products, whereas large bodies of data—such as patient health records or genetic sequence data—represent long-term, unrealized development of products and applications.”