China publishes set of ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence

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China has published the first set of ethical principles for regulating artificial intelligence (AI). Priority is given to protecting user rights and preventing risks associated with the influence of global tech giants. Another goal of the initiative is China’s aspiration to become a global leader in AI by 2030.

The document lays out six basic principles of AI systems: ensuring that systems are “manageable and reliable that AI is in control” of systems such as improving human well-being, ensuring fairness, protecting privacy and security, and enhancing ethical literacy.

The manual states that a person must retain full right to make decisions, as well as the right to make the choice whether to resort to AI services or stop it at any time.

In 2017, the State Council of the PRC presented a plan according to which the country should overtake the United States and become the world leader in the field of AI. In the first phase of the plan, which places the lead on the government, it says that by 2020, the country’s industry must match the world’s leading AI technologies, their practical applications, ethical principles and policy frameworks. The next goal is a major breakthrough in AI by 2025, with the PRC becoming the leading country in this field by the end of the decade.