Former Google engineer indicted for stealing AI secrets to aid Chinese companies

FILE PHOTO: AI (Artificial Intelligence) letters are placed on computer motherboard in this illustration taken June 23, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) -A former Google software engineer has been indicted in California on charges of stealing trade secrets related to artificial intelligence from the Alphabet unit, in order to benefit Chinese companies.

Linwei Ding, also known as Leon Ding, was charged on Tuesday by a federal jury in San Francisco with four counts of theft of trade secrets.

A lawyer for Ding could not immediately be identified. Google and a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to the indictment, the stolen information relates to the hardware infrastructure and software platform that lets Google's supercomputing data centers train large AI models through machine learning.

The trade secrets contain detailed information about the architecture and functionality of chips and systems, and software that helps power a supercomputer "capable of executing at the cutting edge of machine learning and AI technology," the indictment said.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in San Francisco and Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Chris sanders)

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