Zhejiang Lab is a research institute in Hangzhou, China, founded jointly by Zhejiang University, the Zhejiang Provincial Government, and Alibaba Group. With a strong focus on research into artificial intelligence, Zhejiang Lab has been a partner of the University of Bath since 2019. The academic exchanges in the field of AI ethics and safety between the two institutions continued this academic year with ART-AI research student Elsa Zhong visiting Hangzhou for several months in 2021.
During her visit, Elsa delivered a guest lecture on AI and Ethics. Within this lecture Elsa discussed AI ethics issues that have become increasingly prominent, such as algorithm bias and discrimination, the public’s lack of trust in new technologies, algorithm manipulation, and data privacy. She highlighted that these issues cannot be avoided in the development of artificial intelligence, and governments internationally face the same challenges to solve them.
In 2018 and 2019, the British government issued relevant guidance on data and AI safety and ethics respectively. In China, the State Council and various ministries and commissions have issued a series of AI safety and ethical principles since 2017. There are many similarities in AI ethics principles between the UK and China. However, differences in culture, societal systems and social environment will profoundly affect the interpretation of relevant principles and the formulation of specific industry standards, laws and regulations, and further affect the future formulation of international laws and regulations in the field of AI ethics and safety.
In her lecture, Elsa analysed the challenges in the field of AI ethics and safety; introduced the data and AI ethics and safety policies in the UK and China; and discussed the future construction of AI ethics and security governance frameworks with Chinese characteristics and the development direction of global AI governance by comparing the similarities and differences of the two countries.