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China Draws up AI Rules to Align With Core Socialist Values

3 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • China's internet watchdog mandates AI companies to obtain a license for new products within 10 days of their launch.
  • Beijing's communist-style censorship might hinder AI's usefulness since efforts must align with core socialist values.
  • UK Labour spokesperson Lucy Powell recently urged for regulations requiring AI product developers to secure a license.
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China’s internet watchdog will censor information artificial intelligence (AI) products use and hold developers responsible for their outputs as the nation battles for AI supremacy.

The Cyberspace Administration of China states that organizations will have 10 days to register generative products after launch as part of regulations government will finalize this month.

Will China Censorship Hurt Bid for Supremacy?

However, Beijing must satisfy the conundrum of innovating under Communist-style censorship, which could impede the usefulness of AI tools.

An early draft of the new regulations said AI efforts should “embody core socialist values” and foster national unity. But time will tell whether companies consider compliance feasible in light of friendlier regimes fighting China for AI supremacy. A Hong Kong professor Angela Zhang said companies must filter non-compliant data or risk facing severe penalties.

China censors information AI products can use, which may hurt its bid for AI supremacy by 2025.
AI adoption in product development is expected to soar by 2025 | Source: Statista

Large-language models behind generative AI tools consume text information from the internet to create humanlike digital content in response to user prompts. Controversies have surrounded which information these models should be allowed to access.

Recently, Elon Musk cited scraping by AI bots as a “galling” practice. The US Recording Academy also prevents artificially generated, non-human content from winning an award.

Discover the top AI crypto trading bots here.

On the flip side, China’s new rules hold developers almost solely responsible for the outputs their large language models produce. Recently, Chinese companies Baidu and Alibaba released generative tools that didn’t violate communist ideals.

Western Regulators Express Similar Concerns

Last month, UK Labour spokesperson Lucy Powell called for regulations requiring AI product developers to acquire a license. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak proposed laws similar to the framework the European Organization for Nuclear Research uses.

In the meantime, European companies, including Renault and Airbus, have opposed the European Parliament’s draft of AI rules. They argue that the proposed regulations threaten the foundations of the language models without addressing AI’s risks.

While some believe AI can conquer humanity in about two years, its more pressing threats include the societal fallout from the spread of disinformation.

Across the Atlantic, Sam Altman, the CEO of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, has lobbied the US Congress for new regulations to address AI’s future rather than present risks. However, the technology has already forced financial institutions to rethink their approach to trading after a fake image of a Pentagon explosion tanked the S&P 500 in 20 minutes.

Got something to say about China’s goal to censor AI or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or Twitter.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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