China warns of artificial intelligence risks, calls for beefed-up national security measures

China warns of artificial intelligence risks, calls for beefed-up national security measures
China warns of artificial intelligence risks, calls for beefed-up national security measures

(AP) BEIJING — The Communist Party in power in China has called for increased national security measures while also warning of the dangers posed by developments in artificial intelligence.

The government’s drive to assume world leadership in cutting-edge technology and concerns about the potential social and political dangers of such technologies are at odds, as highlighted by the statement released following a meeting on Tuesday that was presided over by party chief and President Xi Jinping.

It also came after a warning from American academics and computer sector leaders about the dangers that artificial intelligence poses to humanity, including top executives at Microsoft and Google.

the necessity for “dedicated efforts to safeguard political security and improve the security governance of internet data and artificial intelligence,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency, was highlighted at the conference in Beijing.

“At the conference, it was emphasized that the complexity and gravity of the national security issues facing our nation had substantially escalated. The national security front needs to develop strategic self-assurance, victory-proof confidence, and a clear awareness of its own advantages, according to Xinhua.

It stated that in order to survive the big test of strong winds, rough waters, and potentially dangerous storms, “we must be ready for worst-case and extreme scenarios.”

The gathering heard Xi’s appeal for “staying keenly aware of the complicated and challenging circumstances facing national security.” Xi is China’s head of state, military commander, and leader of the party’s National Security Commission.

China requires a “new pattern of development with a new security architecture,” according to Xinhua’s reporting of Xi.

With spending on police and security personnel exceeding that on the military, China already commits enormous resources to eradicating any perceived political risks to the party’s supremacy.

Citizens have continued to criticize policies, most recently the harsh lockdown measures implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19, despite the government’s unrelenting censorship of online criticism and in-person rallies.

China has been tightening regulations on the tech industry in an effort to restore party control, but like other nations, it is attempting to regulate rapidly advancing AI technology.

The most recent party meeting reiterated the need to “assess the potential risks, take precautions, safeguard the people’s interests and national security, and ensure the safety, reliability, and ability to control AI,” according to a story published Tuesday in the official newspaper Beijing Youth Daily.

With the emergence of a new generation of extremely intelligent AI chatbots like ChatGPT, concerns about artificial intelligence systems outsmarting people and getting out of control have increased.

Hundreds of influential people, including Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, and Geoffrey Hinton, a computer scientist regarded as the pioneer of artificial intelligence, signed the declaration on Tuesday that was published on the website of the Center for AI Safety.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war,” the statement read.

A much longer letter earlier this year calling for a six-month moratorium on AI development was signed by more than 1,000 experts and professionals, including Elon Musk, who is presently visiting China.

According to the memo, artificial intelligence (AI) poses “profound risks to society and humanity,” and some people interested in the subject have suggested a United Nations convention to govern the technology.

In an effort to gain the upper hand on cutting-edge technology, China has issued warnings about the need for regulation of AI dating back to 2018. Despite this, the country has sponsored a significant increase in the field.

The use of facial, voice, and even walking-gait recognition technology to identify and detain those deemed to be a threat, particularly political dissidents and religious minorities, particularly Muslims, has become nearly universal as a result of a lack of privacy protections and strict party control over the legal system.

More than 1 million people have been incarcerated in political re-education camps that resemble prisons and which China refers to as deradicalization and job training facilities, including members of the Uyghur and other primarily Muslim ethnic groups who have been singled out for widespread electronic monitoring.

Risks associated with AI are mostly observed in how it can operate self-operating, robotic weapons, financial tools, and computers that control vital infrastructure such as power grids, hospitals, transportation networks, and other essential facilities.

Concerns about China’s use of AI are raised by the country’s excessive enthusiasm for new technology, readiness to tinker with stolen or imported research, and ability to suppress investigations into significant occurrences like the COVID-19 outbreak.

In an article that was just released this week in the journal Foreign Affairs, technology and national security experts Bill Drexel and Hannah Kelley stated that “China’s blithe attitude toward technological risk, the government’s reckless ambition, and Beijing’s crisis mismanagement are all on a collision course with the escalating dangers of AI.”

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