Sound management key to high-tech competitiveness

By Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/23 21:08:40

Competition between China and the US in the field of technology will be fiercer. The key to taking the lead not only lies in technology but on the quality of management. 

If China wants to maintain its global leading position and even overtake the US in technology, sound management is indispensable, which promotes technological advancement while reducing the negative effects of high-tech. 

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) in China is in the spotlight after Chinese lawmakers on Sunday deliberated personality rights section in draft civil code - which, if passed, would outlaw AI technology that can digitally switch people's identity.

The technology known as deepfake is a human image synthesis technique based on AI that creates videos showing people doing things that never really happened. Chinese lawmakers have vowed to protect people's voice and image from being used in fake videos. 

Some technologies like AI could probably harm social stability and national - even human - security if they are not properly regulated and managed. Thus, a specific law is necessary, but it should be neither too rigid nor too tolerant. China's new draft is a good attempt at seeking that balance. 

AI technology has raised global concerns. In October 2018, The Guardian published a commentary, "To regulate AI we need new laws, not just a code of ethics," talking about how to efficiently supervise the development of AI.  While the West is stuck in debates, China has explored legislative ways. It is not easy to be the first person to eat tomatoes, so to speak. The move also shows that China attaches great importance to human rights. 

As a pioneer in this field, China should learn from the West's experiences and management ways, and insist on developing its own way despite external influence. 

In a rare instance, the Voice of America Chinese site didn't criticize Chinese lawmakers in a recent report about the draft. We believe the US has also realized the seriousness of potential negative consequences if the technology is allowed to get out of hand. Moreover, China is doing something that many countries want to do but dare not.

All important technologies involving social stability can cause unbearable loss and harm to a country without proper supervision. High-tech management, which makes technologies develop in a healthy way, could be a decisive factor in determining whether a country is more technologically competitive. As technology rapidly evolves, management must keep up with that speed. China has made its call.

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