China’s Xi Jinping calls for greater state control of AI to counter ‘dangerous storms’ | China

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and top officials have called for greater state oversight of artificial intelligence as part of work to counter “dangerous storms” facing the country, state media reported.

The president and other ruling Communist party officials agreed at a meeting of the National Security Commission to “improve security governance of network data and artificial intelligence”.

“We must be prepared for worst-case and extreme scenarios, and be ready to withstand the major test of high winds, choppy waters, and even dangerous storms,” a readout of the meeting from official news agency Xinhua said.

Xi said that the “complexity and severity of national security problems faced by our country have increased dramatically”.

China has in recent months stepped up a broad campaign to stamp out perceived national security threats, restricting access to data, raiding foreign consulting firms and strengthening counter-espionage laws.

It has also taken steps to strengthen state control over artificial intelligence, with a draft law unveiled last month requiring all AI products to undergo a security assessment before being released.

AI products will be required to reflect “core socialist values”, the draft law states, and must not “contain content on subversion of state power”.

Beijing has said deepfakes – AI-generated images and audio that can be stunningly lifelike – also present a “danger to national security and social stability”.

The nation has announced ambitious plans to become a global leader in AI by 2030. Consultancy group McKinsey estimates the sector could add about $600bn every year to China’s gross domestic product by then.

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