2021 is the year of Chinese News. China is all over the news on it's Big-Tech crackdown and how the government is 'ring-fencing' these companies to improve Chinese society at large. Recently, China released the country’s guidelines on AI ethics. These broad guidelines are part of China’s goal to become the global AI leader by 2030, but also align long-term social transformations that AI will bring, and role of proactively manage and guide those transformations.
One thing for sure, our societies will be heavily influenced by Artificial Intelligence in the future. The article focuses on Ethics Specification that was created by China's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to provide companies a code of ethics on what AI systems would be.
These standards show the extensiveness of China government interest in making a socialist driven + ethically focused society.
Our summarized version of the AI Ethics Specification aim to provide a quick glance at China's standards of ethics which can be useful in understanding future directions of its AI.
The Specification aims to integrate ethics and morals into the entire lifecycle of Artificial Intelligence, promote fairness, justice, harmony, and safety, and avoid issues such as prejudice, discrimination and privacy/information leakage.
The specification applies to natural person/s, legal person/s, and other related institutions engaged in activities related to artificial intelligence management, research and development, supply, and use.
The various activities of Artificial Intelligence shall adhere to the following basic ethical norms.
(1) Enhance human well-being. Adhere to people-oriented principles, follow the common values of mankind, respect human rights and the fundamental interests of mankind, and abide by national or regional ethics.
(2) Promote fairness and justice. Adhere to inclusiveness, effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of all relevant subjects.
(3) Protect privacy and safety. Fully respect the consent rights of personal information, protect personal privacy and data security and to NOT collect data illegally.
(4) Ensure controllability and credibility. Ensure that humans have full autonomous decision-making power, the right to choose whether to accept the services provided by Artificial Intelligence and the right to withdraw from the interaction with Artificial Intelligence at any time.
(5) Strengthen AI Responsibility. Insist that human beings are the ultimate responsible subject, clarify the responsibilities of stakeholders, comprehensively enhance the sense of responsibility.
(6) Improve ethical literacy. Proactively learn and promote Artificial Intelligence ethics knowledge, Understand ethical issues objectively, and do not underestimate or exaggerate ethical risks.
Following Chapters highlight the summarized focused areas.
Promoting Agile governance and development sustainability. To actively integrate the ethical standards into management process in adherence to the governing laws. Ensuring orderly development and sustainability of artificial intelligence staying true to the reality.
Segregation of Responsibilities. Clarifying the responsibilities across different stakeholders and standardize management operating conditions and procedures.
Strengthen risk prevention through improving the research and risk assessment in the development of artificial intelligence. Encouraging the use and diversification of Artificial Intelligence technologies to solve economic and social problems. Encourage cross-disciplinary, cross-field, cross-regional, and cross-border exchanges and cooperation.
Companies are to take initiative to integrate Artificial Intelligence ethics into all aspects of technology research and development. Consciously providing self-censorship, strengthen self-management, and refrain from engaging in AI research and development that violates ethics and morality.
Improve data quality in the aspect of data processing, collection, storage, etc. and enhance security and transparency in terms of algorithm design, implementation and application.
Avoid prejudice and discrimination by comprehensive consideration of differentiated demands, avoiding possible data and algorithm bias and strive to achieve inclusiveness, fairness and non-discrimination.
The Supply Specifications focuses on
Respecting Market Rules. Strictly abide by the various rules and regulations for market access, competition, and actively maintain market order.
Strengthen quality control by monitoring and evaluation of AI products and systems. Avoid infringements of user's safety and privacy caused by product defects.
Protect the rights and interests of users by clearly informing users and highlighting the limitations.
Formulate emergency mechanisms and loss compensation plans or measures, timely monitor the artificial intelligence system, respond and process user feedback in a timely manner, prevent systemic failures.
Promote good faith use. Strengthen the pre-use demonstration and evaluation of Artificial Intelligence products and services.
Avoid misuse and abuse. Violation of regulations and abuse is prohibited.
Proactive feedback and improvement of usability. Proactive feedback to relevant stakeholders and assist in solving problems such as security vulnerabilities, policy and regulations vacuum, and inadequate supervision found in the process of using artificial intelligence products or services.
This specification is issued by the National New Generation Artificial Intelligence Governance Professional Committee, and is responsible for the interpretation and guidance of implementation.
About the author
Stephen Chan is the founder of ASIA Technology Ventures. As a creative and entrepreneurial thinker with deep knowledge in both business and technology, he has accomplished more than 2 decades of high-growth businesses, developed revolutionary Go-To-Market strategies, led & built teams across Asia Pacific. He also has strong understanding of technology like SaaS/Cloud infrastructure, mobile apps, developer tools, blockchain, artificial intelligence, etc. Asia Technology Ventures was founded to help Asia's businesses transform, scale and compete beyond their comfort zone.
This is driven by his personal belief that "Success is a journey, not a destination", in-line with his pursuit of helping others as the foundation for true, happy, and meaningful living.