Former deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg has warned that China will instil “autocratic values” in the artificial intelligence it is creating, and that Western countries should band together to protect against them.
China has proposed new AI laws that aim to keep the software from subverting state power while still promoting socialist values.
“It’s so important that Europe, America, India don’t need to act in an identical fashion,” said Sir Nick, head of global affairs at Facebook’s parent firm Meta.
“But if they can align, then we can ensure that these new technologies are based on democratic values and not all autocratic values, because I can guarantee you these very powerful new technologies are going to be used by autocrats around the world for their own purposes – and I think we need to do something quite different.”
Sir Nick also claimed that competitor social media network TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese business, is permitted to operate in the United States while Facebook is prohibited in China.
The former deputy prime minister warned that disparities in Western approaches among India, the United States, and Europe could allow Chinese AI to operate.
Sir Nick joins legislators in the United States in calling for a crackdown on TikTok, a popular video site among young people.
Before being released to the public, the Chinese Communist Party has ordered that all new AI bots be subjected to a security evaluation.
According to rules released by China’s Cyberspace Administration, AI will also be obliged to prevent the dissemination of incorrect information, racist posts, or obscene content.
Researchers who create technology that fails these tests may face fines of 100,000 yuan (£11,000) or criminal charges if they violate other laws.
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