Tencent Chief Says Ethics in AI Tech Crucial for Social Benefits

AI

Tencent has spoken up on establishing ethics to manage AI and maximize the benefits it will be able to give to the medical and the agricultural sectors / Photo by: Dmitry Lysenko via Wikimedia Commons

 

As artificial intelligence continues to hold potential for the future of technology, Tencent has spoken up on establishing ethics to manage AI and maximize the benefits it will be able to give to the medical and the agricultural sectors.

This is big news, especially since Tencent is one of China’s biggest and most valuable publicly listed tech company. According to the Financial Times, Senior Vice President Seng Yee Lau also took his suggestion one step further by saying that for the intent of more responsible handling of data, a “social contract” must be observed between companies regarding the use of the public’s personal data.

Identity theft and the stealing of data remain to be the biggest problems that the tech world is currently facing, and Tencent adding in their two cents when it comes to managing data is aligned in their vision to use “tech for good,” which the company sees as paramount to Chinese culture as “Chinese philosophies and the idea of good” come from the individual and not from the government.

Despite this initiative, though, Tencent is directly in the line of fire when it comes to censorship since its position as one of the most valuable Chinese tech giants puts it closer to the Chinese government’s request to “censor internet content.”

This is the main issue that people have for Tencent. Although the company’s push for AI ethics coincides with Google’s—they have even entered the game earlier before Google managed to put together the AI for Social Good platform in January 2018—employees are saying that this push is still “lacking teeth.”

Internet censorship is a big deal for the Chinese government, too, and since Tencent owns WeChat, a messaging app that’s biggest in China, it would make sense that it’s Tencent they would take to task in the issue of censorship.

Nonetheless, Lau seems to remain determined to continue with this initiative, saying that Tencent was inspired by the General Data Protection Regulation, and said that it was that that helped convince them to be more proactive when it comes to protecting the rights of millions of their users’ data.