China presents ethical principles for regulating artificial intelligence

October 15, 2021

China presents ethical principles for regulating artificial intelligence

China's Ministry of Science and Technology has unveiled a set of ethical principles for regulating artificial intelligence, with a focus on protecting user rights and preventing risks. According to the authorities, it will help Beijing become a world leader in AI by 2030, writes SCMP.

The document outlines six core principles for artificial intelligence systems. Among them:

  • 1
    Ensuring AI is "manageable and reliable";
  • 2
    human well-being;
  • 3
    ensuring fairness and justice;
  • 4
    protection of privacy and security;
  • 5
    promoting ethical awareness.

TThe guidelines mention data security, personal privacy and the right to refuse to make decisions based on artificial Tintelligence. The document states that people should have the right to choose whether to use services with AI or to opt out at any time.

The official aim of the guidelines is to "make sure that artificial intelligence is always under human control".

Preventing risks requires identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in AI systems, holding organisations accountable, and improving the management and quality control of AI products, the document says.

The guidelines prohibit the development and use of AI services in illegal activities, as well as those that threaten national, public and industrial security. In addition, they must not harm the public interest, the document said.

According to Rebecca Arcesati, an analyst at Germany's Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies, this is the first clarification of AI ethics from the Chinese government.

"China ends up choosing an oppressive model where the state is thinking very seriously about the long-term social transformation that AI will bring and trying to actively manage and direct it," she believes.

Archesati added that the Chinese authorities are acting with vision, and the new recommendations are "a clear message to the tech giants, who have built entire business models on algorithmic recommendations."

Recall that at the end of August, China introduced rules for the use of recommendation algorithms by technology companies.

In August, Chinese authorities announced further regulation of technology companies.

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