Welcome to readin – the best world tech news chanel.

Former Google engineer accused of stealing artificial intelligence secrets for Chinese company| GuyWhoKnowsThings


A Chinese national who recently quit his job as a software engineer for Google in California has been accused of trying to transfer artificial intelligence technology to a Beijing-based company that secretly paid him, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Prosecutors accused Linwei Ding, who was part of the team that designs and maintains Google's vast AI supercomputer data system, of stealing information about the system's “architecture and functionality” and stealing software used to “orchestrate” supercomputers “to the cutting edge of technology.” machine learning and artificial intelligence technology.”

From May 2022 to May 2023, Ding, also known as Leon, uploaded 500 files, many of them containing trade secrets, from his Google-provided laptop to the cloud using a multi-step scheme that allowed him to “ evade immediate detection,” according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California.

Ding was arrested Wednesday morning at his home in Newark, California, not far from Google's sprawling main campus in Mountain View, authorities said.

Starting in June 2022, a China-based technology company paid Ding $14,800 a month (plus a bonus and company stock) without notifying his supervisors at Google, according to the indictment. He is also accused of working with another company in China.

Ding openly sought funding for an AI startup he had formed at an investors conference in Beijing in November, boasting that “we have experience with Google's 10,000-card computing power platform; we just need to replicate it and improve it,” prosecutors said in the indictment, which was unsealed in federal court in San Francisco.

“The Department of Justice will not tolerate the theft of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies that could put our national security at risk,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, who announced the indictment during an appearance at a Bar Association conference. of the United States in San Francisco. on Wednesday afternoon.

The charges underscore the high-stakes contest for the primacy of artificial intelligence. While American companies have made most of the advances in generative AI, China has achieved this. a strategic priority to lead the growing field.

Tech industry experts have estimated that China is at least a year behind the United States, but many Chinese startups have turned to American technology to try to keep up, especially Meta's large open source language model, called Llama. Generative AI, which is behind ChatGPT and the wave of conversational chatbots, has quickly become one of the most sought-after technologies in the world.

In seconds, these types of tools can generate compelling text and images that could be used to increase productivity, create misinformation, or provide entertainment. Audio and video capabilities They are not left behind. Google developed some of the fundamental advances that make these systems work. The company has said that its latest set of AI models, called Gemini, are among the most powerful available today.

But since the debut of ChatGPT, Google has lost its market leader status and its stumbles have drawn attention. The company has been widely criticized for Racial biases in your image generator.leading it to pause users' ability to create images of people.

Allegations of intellectual property theft have been a major sticking point in US-China relations for years. A Chinese national was arrested in 2015 for selling part of IBM source code to matches in China. In 2018, a former Apple employee was detained while trying to board a flight to Beijing with the company's autonomous driving trade secrets.

The same year, the Chinese company Sinovel Wind Group was convicted of stealing wind turbine technology of a Massachusetts-based company, AMSC, which suffered losses of more than $800 million.

In October, Christopher A. Wray, director of the FBI, said that the theft of intellectual property from China was a danger to the economic and national security of the United States, describing it as the “defining threat of this generation.”

José Castañeda, a Google spokesman, said in a statement: “We have strict safeguards to prevent the theft of our confidential business information and trade secrets. After an investigation, we discovered that this employee stole numerous documents and we quickly referred the case to authorities. “We thank the FBI for helping us protect our information and will continue to cooperate closely with them.”

Google added that its security systems worked as intended and that this “junior employee” was acting alone.

But the indictment suggests that Ding had some help: Another Google employee swiped Ding's ID card at a company office to help him conceal a trip to China, according to the indictment.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Ding has legal representation.

The government offered few details about the life of Ding, who began working for Google in early 2019 and resigned suddenly in January after booking a one-way ticket to Beijing.

Ding listed a degree from Dalian Institute of Technology in China in 2010, along with degrees from the University of Southern California and Stanford, on a LinkedIn page that corresponded to his name and employment details at Google.

The page lists stints at healthcare and semiconductor software companies over the past decade, along with awards it said it earned at Google, including the “Perfy Award and Engineering Feats.”

kitty bennett contributed reports.


Share this article:
you may also like
Next magazine you need
most popular

what you need to know

in your inbox every morning