Pushback against the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence continues, with both Chinese and American regulators intervening further.

Scott Bicheno

April 11, 2023

2 Min Read
China and US ramp up AI oversight

Pushback against the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence continues, with both Chinese and American regulators intervening further.

The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has launched an ‘AI Accountability Request for Comment’, to try to get a better idea of how best to impose guard-rails on the development of AI. Specifically it’s trying to work out how to allow AI to develop while mitigating the potential harms of sentient computers, belligerent robots, etc.

“Responsible AI systems could bring enormous benefits, but only if we address their potential consequences and harms,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “For these systems to reach their full potential, companies and consumers need to be able to trust them. Our inquiry will inform policies to support AI audits, risk and safety assessments, certifications, and other tools that can create earned trust in AI systems.” Davidson also took part in a public discussion about AI accountability policies, which you can view in the video below.

Meanwhile, as reported by the FT, the Cyberspace Administration of China wants to have a much greater role in how AI manifests itself there. “Content generated by generative artificial intelligence should embody core socialist values and must not contain any content that subverts state power, advocates the overthrow of the socialist system, incites splitting the country or undermines national unity,” the CAC rules reportedly state, revealing much about the extent to which politics permeates everything there.

The Chinese state power grab coincides with the launch of Tongyi Qianwen by Alibaba Cloud, a new AI model that will soon be integrated across Alibaba’s various businesses.

“We are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing, and businesses across all sectors have started to embrace intelligence transformation to stay ahead of the game,” said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group. “As a leading global cloud computing service provider, Alibaba Cloud is committed to making computing and AI services more accessible and inclusive for enterprises and developers, enabling them to uncover more insights, explore new business models for growth, and create more cutting-edge products and services for society.”

We’ll see about that, Dan. It seems Chinese Big Tech is every bit as committed to the AI arms race as its US contemporaries, but the Chinese state has far fewer obstacles to its direct and complete intervention, should it feel subverted or in any other way left out. Having said that, while the process may be more circuitous, the US state could end up exerting a similar stranglehold over its AI industry. Whether or not that will make it safer remains to be seen.


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About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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