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China: AI Governance Principles Released

(Sept. 9, 2019) On June 17, 2019, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology published on its website the Governance Principles for a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence: Develop Responsible Artificial Intelligence (Chinese original; English translation). The Principles were formulated by the Ministry’s New Generation Artificial Intelligence [AI] Governance Expert Committee.

The AI Governance Principles provide a framework and action guidelines for AI governance, aiming to “promote the healthy development of a new generation of AI; better coordinate the relationship between development and governance; ensure that AI is safe/secure, reliable, and controllable; promote economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable development; and jointly build a community of common destiny for humanity.”

The following eight principles of AI governance are proposed:

  1. harmony and friendliness
  2. fairness and justice
  3. inclusiveness and sharing
  4. respect for privacy
  5. security and controllability
  6. shared responsibility
  7. open cooperation
  8. agile governance

Specifically, the Principles state that AI development should aim to enhance the common well-being of humanity. Bias and discrimination in the process of data acquisition; algorithm design; technology development; and product research, development, and application should be eliminated through enhancing technologies and management methods. AI development should respect and protect personal privacy and protect individuals’ right to know and right to choose. Standards should be established for the collection, storage, processing, and use of personal information. Mechanisms of revocation of personal information authorization should be improved. Stealing, tampering, illegal disclosing, and any other illegal collection or use of personal information should be opposed.

The New Generation AI Governance Expert Committee was established by the Ministry earlier this year to research policy recommendations for AI governance and identify areas for international cooperation.