India and the United States (US) held the inaugural meeting of the Critical and Emerging Technology initiative (iCET) yesterday in Washington DC. Different areas of bilateral cooperation within the technology sector were identified. What's iCET? India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe-Biden announced it last May. The objective: "to elevate and expand our strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of our two countries". And what does the CET in iCET mean? According to the US government, "critical and emerging technologies .. are a subset of advanced technologies that are potentially significant to U.S. national security". They include advanced computing, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems and robotics, communication and networking technologies, financial technologies, quantum information technologies, and semiconductor technologies, among others. Why does this matter? Is this just about technology collaborations? Not entirely. As is always the case with international deals, there's some amount of normative chest-thumping involved too—and this tells us about how geopolitical alliances shape up around technology. Both India and the US believe that technology should be designed, governed, and used based on the countries' "shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights", said a White House press release. The subtext: India and the US are committed to "an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem", unlike some 'other' countries. As the US National Security Advisor noted, "the framework won’t be solely driven by the geopolitical challenge China poses, but .. Beijing’s aggressive military moves and economic practices…
Everything You Need to Know About the India-US Critical and Emerging Technology Initiative
The initiative seeks to identify areas that will help expand “strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation” between the two countries
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