Why does Beijing suddenly care about AI ethics?

technologyreview.comChinese scientists and engineers released a code of ethics for artificial intelligence that might signal a willingness from Beijing to rethink how it uses the technology.

And while China’s government is widely criticized for using AI as a way to monitor citizens, the newly published guidelines seem remarkably similar to ethical frameworks laid out by Western companies and governments.

The Beijing AI Principles were announced  by the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI), an organization backed by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Beijing municipal government. They spell out guiding principles for research and development in AI, including that “human privacy, dignity, freedom, autonomy, and rights should be sufficiently respected.”

While it would be easy to dismiss talk of privacy and individual freedoms as disingenuous, it signals a surprising willingness to discuss such issues within Chinese policy circles…