Special Report: AI Policy and China
Volume I: Realities of State-Led Development, and Volume II: Ethics, Governance, and Strategy
Oct. 29, 2019
Editor's Note: This page is being updated as further material in our AI Policy and China series is released.
When China's government announced its ambitions for the country’s theoretical, technological, and applied artificial intelligence development to reach a “world-leading level” by 2030, governments and markets worldwide took notice.
So did DigiChina. The New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (AIDP), drafted by experts across China’s bureaucracy and issued by the State Council in July 2017, was one of this nascent project's first major translations.
In October 2019, DigiChina published its first special report, "AI Policy and China: Realities of State-Led Development," featuring new work and insights from 14 specialists across a wide variety of fields. Read the report in PDF format here, or access individual articles below:
- "Can China Grow Its Own AI Tech Base?: Despite market success, Chinese experts see stubborn dependencies." by Lorand Laskai and Helen Toner.
- "Debating China's AI Path: ‘Alternative Routes,’ or ‘Overtaking on the Curve’?: Researchers weigh state-led development vs. market-driven efforts for AI in China," by Mei Nelson.
- "Could an 'AI Winter' Be on the Horizon for China?: In the trenches, sometimes it's hard to live up to the hype," by Jordan Schneider.
- "Drafting China's National AI Team for Governance: Companies get special roles, but they're expected to serve as platforms for others," by Benjamin Larsen.
- "AI Politics Is Local: Municipal and central authorities dream up a model AI cluster in Beijing," by Thomas Lehmann.
- "Four Specialists Describe Their Diverse Approaches to China's AI Development." Johanna Costigan interviews Jeffrey Ding, Maya Wang, Paul Scharre, and Danit Gal."How AI Can Better Serve People With Disabilities in China: ‘Information accessibility’ is already on the agenda, but civil society offers more," by Siodhbhra Parkin.
- "In China, Planning Towards AI Policy Paralysis: How government plans, combined with political tightening, form a barrier to AI governance," by Karman Lucero.
In February 2020, we began releasing the follow-up second special report, "AI Policy and China II: Ethics, Governance, and Strategy." A full PDF of the report is forthcoming, but articles will be posted here as they are released:
- "Human Resources Both Drive and Limit China’s Push for Automation: As an aging population shrinks China's workforce, planners face challenges in training workers and upgrading tools," by Muyi Xiao. (Published online Feb. 3, 2020)
- "China's AI Efforts Suggest Tactics in New 'Self-Reliance' Push: A focus on attracting foreign talent and investment while cultivating the same at home," by Scarlett Ho. (Published online Dec. 21, 2020)
- Check back soon for more…
The Stanford-New America DigiChina Project is a collaborative effort to understand China’s digital policy developments, primarily through translating and analyzing Chinese-language sources. How the Chinese party-state and society deploy and use digital technologies is increasingly consequential for governance, markets, and security around the world. From laws and regulations to published commentaries from policymakers and corporate strategies, China’s public sphere provides a great deal of insight into what’s happening and why. DigiChina’s network of contributors, working collaboratively with industry and policy experts around the globe, work to bring that insight to an international audience and inform important debates and decisions.
DigiChina has been supported through a partnership with the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative of the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Berkman Klein Center. In June 2019, DigiChina became a joint project of Stanford University's Program on Geopolitics, Technology and Governance and New America's Cybersecurity Initiative.