Governance of artificial intelligence

September 06, 2019 10:47
Digital resources and AI technology sometimes throw up moral and legal issues that will need to be addressed. Photo:

Shanghai will build a state-of-the-art open AI development platform, the city’s party boss Li Qiang said at the opening of the World AI Conference last week.

Many cities across the world want to develop AI, but very few of them have established a national-level AI experiment zone like Shanghai.

According to Shanghai’s draft plan, there are six major focuses -- transportation, smart community, healthcare, smart finance, manufacturing, and education.

Among the projects covered by the Shanghai initiative I’m particularly interested in smart agriculture in Chongming district. High-resolution satellite images and various Internet of Things data will be integrated to better prevent natural disasters and help more precisely determine the allocation of subsidies.

Information technology has changed the way we communicate and connect with each other. That’s a huge transformation in the business world in the 21st Century. The advent of smart devices and 5G will lead to a bigger digital ecosystem. But these digital resources and AI technology may also create various moral and legal issues, as we human beings cede control to machines.

Who should be held accountable if AI has made the wrong decision for you? How shall we divide the responsibilities if mistakes on the part of data input leads to wrong decision-making? These are some issues that need to be addressed.

If Shanghai wants to build a new-generation AI ecosystem, an AI governance study is imperative. Some of the key issues would be fair algorithms, data abuse, fraud, data leak, etc.

We should learn how to set up long-term mechanism to deal with these issues and ensure healthy development of AI sector.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 5

Translation by Julie Zhu with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.