Legislation essential for healthy development of AI sector: iFlytek chairman
Without sufficient protection of user data and privacy, the AI industry may eventually hurt its own development, Liu Qingfeng, chairman of China's leading AI firm iFlytek, has warned.
Once AI applications are found to threaten users' daily lives, the industry may face a downturn, he predicted.
Liu, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, speaking in a group interview, said AI legislation was essential to protect user privacy and the sector's healthy development.
"Sometimes, data is being taken away by companies without a user noticing it," said Liu. "At the technical level, we should use AI technology to give more choices to the users."
The NPC Standing Committee has included in its five-year legislative plan a number of legal measures related to AI, such as the digital security law, personal information protection law and the revision to the law on scientific and technological progress, to provide a strong legal guarantee for the innovation and development of AI, according to Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the second session of the 13th NPC National Committee.
He said AI would bring about a new scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation. However, it was necessary to recognize the uncertainties of technology application, which might also bring new challenges in fields of ethics and social governance.
In addition to legislation, Liu suggested while raising awareness among users about the importance of privacy and security, all AI companies, especially the front-runners, should actively engage in data protection and only acquiring that covered by user consent.