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US Compute Capacity Restrictions before 2050

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Under current law, individuals or corporations are not restricted from owning and operating any amount of computational hardware. But it is possible to envision scenarios where governments may place restrictions on such resources for public safety or other purposes.

A particular area which might cause restrictions to come into place is artificial intelligence. In recent years, AI capabilities have grown rapidly and forecasters believe this trend is set to continue with increasingly capable AI appearing in the next years and decades. Concerns have been raised that such increasingly powerful technology will pose various safety problems up to and including existential risks to humanity.

If decision-makers come to believe that increasing AI capabilities pose grave risks then it is possible that governmental entitites will seek to address the matter with restrictions and regulations. Current state-of-the-art AI projects require immense computational resources to develop. One way to address potential risk may be to legally restrict the compute capacity available to individual projects or actors. Various practical difficulties would encounter any such regulatory schemes but they might nevertheless be considered if alternative measures to ensure safety do not appear promising.

Other areas that might lead to legal restrictions on computational resources include cryptography and cryptocurrency. Concerns with energy usage for environmental or economic reasons could conceivably also contribute to restrictions on computational resources.

Will the United States place restrictions on compute capacity before 2050?

This question will resolve as Yes If, between January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2050, any legal limits on the amount of computer hardware or compute capacity available to individual actors, projects, companies or other entities are put into place anywhere in the United States (by a federal, state, or local government).

Restrictions that aim to curtail or regulate AI development or cryptography or cryptocurrency in ways other than by restricting the general amount of resources available do not trigger positive resolution.

For the purposes of this question, the "United States" will be considered the state which controls >50% of the territory controlled by the US on January 1, 2022, and whose political capital is within the same territory. If no such state exists, this question will resolve as ambiguous.

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