Artificial Intelligence (AI) will significantly change the way we know and interact with the world, as well as power structures and dynamics across the globe. Seeing this potential, the Chinese government has put the development and deployment of AI at the center of its strategy to become a global superpower in science and technology. With policy and financial incentives, public and private research labs in China have made stunning progress. This project goes beyond state policy and examines the ethical principles and social values that underpin Chinese scientists, engineers, philosophers, and other social actors’ co-production of AI technologies.
The pursuit of science and technology has been inseparable from the pursuit of wealth, power, and the salvation of the nation in China’s modern history. On the cusp of achieving these goals, there is an increasing need in China’s scientific circle to see beyond national competition, find new motivations for their endeavors and draw a blueprint for human coexistence with AI. While some started to investigate China’s own philosophical tradition for clues, others turn to international norms and standards. By analyzing published discourse on AI and interviewing the people who are driving the development, this project will provide a more complete picture of China, and perhaps the world’s future promised by AI.