China cracks down on AI algorithms that run its apps and internet services

The news: China introduces new regulations on artificial intelligence and various core technologies that have been managing ride-sharing services, social media and communication for more than 1.4 billion people.

More on this: Written by the China Cyberspace Administrationthe management provisions of the Internet Information Service’s algorithmic recommendations are intended to suppress various aspects of technology that are ideologically incompatible with the Chinese government, by OpenGov Asia.

As of March 1, companies can no longer use personal information to offer users different prices for the same service or product. Any AI algorithm used to set prices, control search results, make recommendations or filter content will be scrutinized.

Companies caught violating the new rules could face huge fines, be banned from accepting new users, have their business licenses revoked, or have their apps and websites taken down.

  • These rules indicate deeper government involvement and direct party control over the core technologies that power the Internet and various applications, enforced by the same body responsible for cyber security, internet censorshipand e-commerce rules.
  • AI issues are a growing concern for the Chinese government. President Xi Jinping spoke about the challenges, specifically “the unhealthy and messy signals and trends (that) have occurred in the rapid development of our country’s digital economy.”
  • Consumer protection against discriminatory algorithms is the based for Beijing’s decision to control AI, but this could also be seen as a broader effect of Chinese Big Tech repression.
  • In context, various ridesharing app users reported different prices for the same ride. Some studies revealed apps charge the same rides differently depending on factors such as the user’s ride history or the device used to book the ride.

Why it might work: Stronger scrutiny of algorithms against unfair or opportunistic activity could result in fairer service for Chinese consumers. It could also limit the creation of troll farms, fake accounts, and the proliferation of short-term misinformation.

What’s the catch? Regulation of core AI technologies could reduce long-term innovation, especially if strict rules are enforced without resorting to deeper tools. ethical AI To analyse. AI regulations are also difficult to implement nationally, especially as AI itself evolves.

Sharon D. Cole