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Beijing publishes its AI governance rules

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Chinese authorities have published rules governing generative AI which go substantially beyond current regulations in other parts of the world. The new rules are scheduled to come into effect on August 15, 2023. China’s rules will not only have implications for domestic AI operators but will also serve as a benchmark for international discussions on AI governance and ethical practices.

One notable requirement is that operators of generative AI must ensure that their services adhere to the core values of socialism, while also avoiding content that incites subversion of state power, secession, terrorism, or any actions undermining national unity and social stability. The document emphasises the promotion of public training data resource platforms and the collaborative sharing of model-making hardware to enhance utilisation rates. The authorities also aim to encourage the orderly opening of public data classification and the expansion of high-quality public training data resources. In terms of technology development, the rules stipulate that AI should be developed using secure and proven tools, including chips, software, tools, computing power, and data resources.

Intellectual property rights must be respected when using data for model development, and the consent of individuals must be obtained before incorporating personal information. There is also a focus on improving the quality, authenticity, accuracy, objectivity, and diversity of training data. Generative AI services within China are prohibited from promoting content that provokes ethnic hatred and discrimination, violence, obscenity, or false and harmful information. These content-related rules remain consistent with a draft released in April 2023. Furthermore, the regulations reveal China’s interest in developing digital public goods for generative AI.

To ensure fairness and non-discrimination, developers are required to create algorithms that do not discriminate based on factors such as ethnicity, belief, country, region, gender, age, occupation, or health. Moreover, operators of generative AI must obtain licenses for their services under most circumstances, adding a layer of regulatory oversight.

Source: the China’s Cyberspace Administration website