China’s tech billionaires back ethical rules to guide development of AI and other technologies – South China Morning Post

What happened: The CEOs of two of China’s biggest tech companies have stressed the importance of rules governing the ethical development of artificial intelligence (AI). Baidu’s Robin Li and Tencent’s Pony Ma submitted separate proposals to China’s “Two Sessions,” an annual gathering of the country’s lawmakers and political advisors, calling for officials to emphasize ethics in AI innovation.  Li urged the government to consult experts in the field and called for China to participate in the global dialogue on emerging rules governing the technology.

Why it’s important: The Chinese government is betting on technological innovation, including that afforded by artificial intelligence, to drive the country’s economy. Companies have been adopting AI in ever-increasing ways, including product recommendations, news aggregation, and surveillance, bringing the emerging technology into the spotlight. Li said that AI’s rapid development has sparked concerns among the public. Regardless, its proliferation will continue as China pushes to reach its goal of becoming a leader in AI by 2030, while simultaneously increasing its focus on high-tech industries through its Made in China 2025 initiative.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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