Nations should not use Artificial Intelligence for creating China-like ‘Surveillance State’: EU report

Brussels: A new European Union (EU) report issued a severe warning that said Artificial Intelligence (AI) should not be used like China, as a ‘Surveillance State’ to spy on the citizens of the country. Two months ago, a US daily had reported that China was using AI-based Facial Recognition technology to spy on the minority Uyghur Muslims in the country. Therefore, the European Commission published a white paper named ‘Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI’ on Wednesday, which stresses on the matters of privacy, transparency and bias.

Mariya Gabriel, the EU’s commissioner for the digital economy and society, published the report on AI. Commissioner Maria Gabriel clarified that the AI technology needed to be trustworthy and the recommendations from the European experts stress on the same point. She presented the stance of the EU by stating that Artificial Intelligence should respect privacy, have transparency and avoid bias.

Surveillance State, spy on the citizens, Facial Recognition technology, Artificial Intelligence, EU, counterterrorism campaign, China, Microsoft

There are two essential phases of the report. The first defines ethics, guiding principles for a trustworthy AI technology whereas, the second would include recommendations for policy and investment for such technology. A total of 11 points have been incorporated in the second phase, which also mention educating the European population on the AI’s capabilities, limitations and threats. Additionally, the European Commission report states that the security of the citizens from the dangers posed by the technology would be a critical issue.

Two months ago, a US daily news report claimed that the Chinese regime had collected information on 10 million Uyghur Muslims using AI.  The story created a stir when it made the revelation that the security agencies could carry out surveillance in any corner of the country using the technology. Nevertheless, China has consistently carried out the monitoring under the pretext of counterterrorism campaign as also national security.

As China collected the information, they initiated a Social Credit System for its citizens. The system was being reportedly used against citizens considered suspicious by the Chinese regime for banning entry at public places and other important places.

A few months ago, President of Microsoft, a global leader in the information technology sector, had warned that the facial recognition technology could be used to initiate extensive mass surveillance. Given the developments, the report of the European Commission and reference of China, assume much significance.

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