People need to wake up to dangers of AI, warns Google ethics adviser – South China Morning Post

What happened: A Hong Kong computer science professor and recently appointed member of Google’s new artificial intelligence (AI) ethics board has expressed his concern about the proliferation of AI, saying that “the cat is out of the bag.” De Kai, from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, warned that more critical discussions need to be had about AI and its possible implications. He is the only Asian member of Google’s newly established ethics board. 

Why it’s important: De Kai’s comments echo the sentiments of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and late British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. Kai emphasizes that referring to AI as the “fourth industrial revolution” is erroneous, saying the classification belittles its distinctness. He said what humanity faces has no precedent. Meanwhile, Google’s new ethics board was announced last week and has already faced backlash. The company’s employees and external critics have said that the board was set up to meet Google’s political needs, and criticized the inclusion of Kay Coles James, president of conservative US think tank Heritage Foundation. 

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.