June 17, 2019
An expert committee established by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) today released a document outlining eight principles for AI governance and “responsible AI.” A full translation is below.
The principles, produced by the National New Generation Artificial Intelligence Governance Expert Committee, have been anticipated for several weeks and join several other recent Chinese documents on AI governance and ethics. The committee follows on the MOST-led New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (AIDP) released by the State Council in 2017.
MOST established the committee in March to research policy recommendations for AI governance and identify areas for international cooperation, according to the committee’s chairman Xue Lan, who is also dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University. In May, the Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said the committee was drafting principles to guide the governance of AI.
The National New Generation Artificial Intelligence Governance Expert Committee is composed of:
- Xue Lan (薛澜), Tsinghua University
- Li Renhan (李仁涵), Shanghai University
- Huang Tiejun (黄铁军), Peking University
- Gao Qiqi (高奇琦), East China University of Political Science and Law
- Zeng Yi (曾毅), Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Zhou Bowen (周伯文), JD.com
- Yin Qi (印奇), Megvii Technology
Apart from the committee members, outside stakeholders appear to have provided input into the drafting. Investor and AI scientist Kai-Fu Lee, for example, reportedly submitted written recommendations for the committee’s first meeting.
These principles come alongside a flurry of Chinese efforts to enunciate guidelines for AI development in recent weeks. On May 28, the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI) released the “Beijing AI Principles,” for the “research, development, use, governance, and long-term planning of AI.” On May 31, China's Artificial Intelligence Industry Alliance (AIIA) released (DigiChina translation) a draft “joint pledge” on self-discipline in developing and using AI.
Governance Principles for a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence: Develop Responsible Artificial Intelligence
The global development of artificial intelligence (AI) has entered a new stage, presenting new features such as cross-domain integration, human-machine cooperation, and swarm integrated intelligence. It is profoundly changing the life of human society and changing the world. In order 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; various parties related to AI development should adhere to the following principles:
I. Harmony and friendliness. AI development should begin from the objective of enhancing the common well-being of humanity; it should conform to human values, ethics, and morality, promote human-machine harmony, and serve the progress of human civilization; it should be based on the premise of safeguarding societal security and respecting human rights, avoid misuse, and prohibit abuse and malicious application.
II. Fairness and justice. AI development should promote fairness and justice, protect the rights and interests of stakeholders, and promote equality of opportunity. Through continuously raising the level of technology and improving management methods, eliminate bias and discrimination in the process of data acquisition, algorithm design, technology development, product R&D, and application.
III. Inclusivity and sharing. AI should: promote green development and meet the requirements of environmental friendliness and resource conservation; promote coordinated development, push forward the transformation and upgrading of all walks of life, and narrow regional disparities; promote inclusive development, strengthen AI education and popularization of science, improve the adaptability of disadvantaged groups, and strive to erase the digital divide; promote shared development, avoid data and platform monopolies, and encourage open and orderly competition.
IV. Respect privacy. AI development should respect and protect personal privacy and fully protect the individual's right to know and right to choose. In personal information collection, storage, processing, use, and other aspects, boundaries should be set and standards should be established. Improve personal data authorization and revocation mechanisms to combat any theft, tampering, disclosure, or other illegal collection or use of personal information.
V. Secure/safe and controllable. AI systems should continuously improve transparency, explainability, reliability, and controllability, and gradually achieve auditability, supervisability, traceability, and trustworthiness.Pay close attention to the safety/security of AI systems, improve the robustness and tamper-resistance of AI, and form AI security assessment and management capabilities.
VI. Shared responsibility. AI developers, users, and other interested parties should possess a strong sense of social responsibility and self-discipline, and strictly abide by laws, regulations, ethics, morals, standards, and norms. Establish an AI accountability mechanism to clarify the responsibilities of developers, users, beneficiaries, etc. The AI application process should ensure the human right to know and give notice of possible risks and impacts. Prevent the use of AI for illegal activities.
VII. Open collaboration. Encourage exchanges and cooperation across disciplines, domains, regions, and borders; promote coordination and interaction between international organizations, government departments, research institutions, educational institutions, enterprises, social organizations, and the public for the development and governance of AI. Launch international dialogue and cooperation; with full respect for each country's principles and practices for AI governance, promote the formation of a broad consensus on an international AI governance framework, standards, and norms.
VIII. Agile governance. Respect the natural laws of AI development; while promoting the innovative and orderly development of AI, search for and resolve risks that might arise. Continuously upgrade intelligent technological methods, optimize management mechanisms, perfect governance systems, and promote governance principles throughout the entire life cycle of AI products and services. Continue to research and anticipate potential future risks from increasingly advanced AI, and ensure that AI always moves in a direction that is beneficial to society.
National New Generation Artificial Intelligence Governance Expert Committee
June 17, 2019