Challenges, benefits of AI examined

| China Daily


With artificial intelligence becoming an integral part of people's lives and transforming the way people live, how to manage AI so it can develop more sustainably has become a common global concern, according to attendees of the World Internet Conference Nishan Dialogue on Digital Civilization on Monday in Qufu, Shandong province, the birthplace of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius.

Attendees discussed the opportunities and challenges AI has brought to human civilization.

They explored ways in promoting exchanges, mutual learning and inclusiveness among different civilizations in the AI era, in a bid to build a community with a shared future in cyberspace.

"As AI becomes deeply integrated into our production and daily life, cybersecurity issues have become more prominent," Zhuang Rongwen, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said at the conference.

Issues including data misuse and algorithmic discrimination against specific groups or individuals during the development and use of generative AI have become common challenges we face, he said.

"As the development of AI technology becomes more prevalent, it is essential to strengthen the study of AI legal and ethical issues," said Zhuang.

China has released several regulations and laws to keep cyberspace and data safe.

The country is also working to establish relevant guidelines, norms and accountability mechanisms to ensure that AI technology is developed within ethical boundaries.

"AI will change many of our existing social and societal structures and mechanisms, which requires us to rethink what will be the impact," Bart Selman, a professor at Cornell University, said in a video to the conference.

The two-day event attracted 400 people from international organizations, world-leading internet companies and industrial institutions.

Facilities powered by AI technologies in the sectors including transportation, healthcare and daily life are on show at the conference.

At an AI exhibition, an AI-powered ultrasonic screening robot attracted the attention of many.

As the robot's detection head moves along a person's neck, images are displayed in real-time on a screen.

"Using AI technology, suspected lesion areas will be detected if there are any," said Sun Yanhui, general manager of Dr. J(Shandong) Intelligent Technology Development, which is based in Qingdao, Shandong province.

The AI-powered robot provides a solution to the challenges in preliminary screening for high-risk diseases such as breast cancer and stroke, said Sun.

"The robots help a lot in community-level healthcare and they can be used to more accurately diagnose patients," said Sun, adding the robots have already been used in several provinces including Jiangsu, Guangdong and Hubei.

"Digitalization has transformed various industries and boosted the high-quality development of the economy and society in Shandong," Lin Wu, Party secretary of Shandong province, said at the conference.

The output of the province's digital economy surpassed 3.9 trillion yuan ($439 billion) last year, accounting for 45 percent of the province's total GDP, according to the provincial government.

Digital technologies have been integrated into a wide range of industries in Shandong, including culture and tourism, agriculture, finance, logistics and manufacturing, said Lin.

Cheng Yu contributed to this story.

ZHAO RUIXUE in Qufu, Shandong