China’s AI has gone far for civilian use than US’s weaponization

Washington is determined to compete with Beijing in the domain of AI's military application while the latter adheres to the people-centered principle and guiding it for goodness. Instead of engaging in a race with the US, China is committed to advancing AI for fraud prevention and enhancing collaboration between humans and machines.
May 23, 2024
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The China Academy Picks
Top picks selected by the China Academy's editorial team from Chinese media, translated and edited to provide better insights into contemporary China.
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Zhou Rui
Journalist and commentator for Banyuetan, a magazine noted for its in-depth policy analysis
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The iterative upgrade of AI technology has made it possible to replace your appearance or imitate your voice. How can you identify yourself from an AI scam? Encountering the ultra-high production efficiency of AI, how can you beat the AI and keep your job? How do we solve these problems appearing in the era of AI? Get yourself free from the destiny of being replaced by AI and guide AI towards goodness, then you are still you.

Identity Substitution: How to prevent AI scams

From proving “It is you” to “It is your mother” to “It is not you”, the identity substitution in the era of AI has puzzled people a lot.

If your relatives or friends asked in an extremely anxious tone through video call that they need money for an emergency, would you borrow or not? Once you do, you may fall into the trap of an AI scam.

Remote video fraud features “a thousand faces for a thousand people” according to the relationship between the defrauded person and the imitated person. The impersonated persons range from business partners to family members but what they all have in common is that they are in urgent need of money because of unexpected accidents. Thus, this kind of fraudulence is more difficult to handle than traditional ones. The inherent thinking that “seeing is believing” often dispels doubts among the public when they see the faces of friends and relatives, which also makes AI-powered deepfake voice and face schemes increasingly common.

Since video calls may deceiving; videos may be fake as well. At the beginning of this year, the People’s Court of Jing’an District, Shanghai, held a trial for a video scam case and delivered a first-instance verdict according to law against eight defendants.

Tao Chenyi, vice president of the Criminal Division of the court, said that the defendants in this case registered accounts featuring the names and nicknames of celebrities, and set their birthdays, addresses, and avatars to match those of celebrities. They forwarded celebrities’ public videos on short video platforms and published and utilized edited photos, videos, and voice-modified audios of celebrities. Firstly, they misled fans into believing that the accounts were operated by the celebrities themselves, attracted fans to like and comment, and then invited enormous fans to enter the live room to sponsor. Subsequently, they redirected followers to social media platforms, using a uniform script to lead the victims to form mistaken beliefs. Finally, they requested money from the victims for various reasons.

Job Substitution: How to beat AI and keep your job

Creative jobs are included in almost all rankings like “Top Jobs AI Can’t Replace”, which are regarded as the reserve in the era of AI. Nevertheless, the development of generative AI may be beyond the public’s imagination.
How long does it take to create an AI abstract oil painting? An hour? A minute? The answer is, a second.

With AI, you only need to describe the image you want and the style of a well-known painter. For example, a painting featuring “black and white border collie in the style of Van Gogh” will soon be generated. Even if Van Gogh himself has never used this subject as the prototype for creation, AI can still read the characteristics of his style from massive paintings and imitate vividly.

Christie’s, a world-renowned art auction house, sold a painting called “Edmond de Belamy” at a sky-high price of 430,000 US dollars in 2018. However, this painting was created by three French students with AI algorithms completely.

In the workplace, AI has gradually begun to make its impact felt. According to the latest 2024 Global Talent Trends released by Mercer, the human resource consulting firm, in a survey involving more than 12,000, senior managers, human resource leaders, employees, and investors around the world, senior managers believe that AI is the key to improving productivity while most employees are not ready for the transition.

“In the past upgrading and reform of science and technology, blue-collar workers and the manufacturing industry were the most vulnerable. However, white-collar workers and professionals will be most affected by AI, for the first time in history.” Ilya Bonic, global partner, President of Career Business, and Head of Strategy at Mercer, said that work can be categorized into transactional, relational, and professional aspects, and AI has a role to play at all three levels. Specifically, jobs involving transactional tasks can be almost entirely replaced. In relational work, AI can effectively identify customers’ needs and initiate communication. And at the professional level, generative AI can also help employees improve their work efficiency.

China’s Actions

AI exists to serve humanity, with the good and evil of technological development, the control and restraint of technology use being “two sides of the same coin”, where the core lies in guiding technology towards goodness.

When AI fraud with “identity substitution” as the main appeal emerges, it is also developing rapidly in the field of anti-fraud. It saw the continuous iteration of the technology of AI counterfeiting and AI anti-counterfeiting during confrontations between them.

For example, DeepReal, a generative AI content detection platform, is able to identify forged content such as AI voice change and AI face change, confronting DeepFake, the well-known AI face change tool.

China’s police have also launched AI Anti-Fraud Officers in many places. For instance, the Wuhua Branch of the Kunming Public Security Bureau launched an intelligent anti-fraud platform and AI Anti-Fraud Officer. Upon discovering citizens who have repeatedly received calls from suspected scam numbers in big data analysis, it is deployed immediately to inform them that those nuisance calls might be fraudulent, carrying out timely legal education. Now, the number of telecommunications and network fraud cases and property losses in this jurisdiction is decreasing continuously.

In the workplace, despite the panic of “Job Substitution”, more employees are actively embracing the era of AI.

According to the survey, 45 percent of the interviewed Chinese employees are confident that their companies will provide AI-related skills training to help them adapt to the changes brought about by AI, which is significantly higher than the global 30%, which means that Chinese employees and businesses have adopted a more positive attitude and approach in facing the era of AI. Through skills training to help employees control and use AI, employees can actively keep up with the development of new quality productive forces and match their own capabilities with high-quality economic development.

Though it is feasible to improve productivity with AI, the answer does not only lie in it, said Ilya Bonic. Generative AI is not able to improve productivity improvements alone, and it is still necessary to jointly improve labor efficiency through “human-machine collaboration”. “Artificial intelligence is always only part of the equation, and people are still the most important force for development."

At a nursing facility in China, a humanoid robot is massaging a lady’s back.

The potential for cooperation between humans and machines is expanding in a multitude of ways. For example, with Embodied Intelligence, that is, “agents with physical carriers”, AI will gain a physical presence. Robots and robotic dogs in the real physical world can possess the capabilities of perception, cognition, and action like humans. Consequently, the interaction between humans and machines can transcend beyond engaging with large digital models like ChatGPT and Sora, breaking through into the physical space.

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author_image
The China Academy Picks
Top picks selected by the China Academy's editorial team from Chinese media, translated and edited to provide better insights into contemporary China.
author_image
Zhou Rui
Journalist and commentator for Banyuetan, a magazine noted for its in-depth policy analysis
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