Deep Learning ‘Godfather’ Bengio Worries About China’s Use of AI

Feb 2, 2019 by

Deep Learning ‘Godfather’ Bengio Worries About China's Use of AI

(Bloomberg) — Yoshua Bengio, a Canadian computer scientist who helped pioneer the techniques underpinning much of the current excitement around artificial intelligence, is worried about China’s use of AI for surveillance and political control.

Bengio, who is also a co-founder of Montreal-based AI software company Element AI, said he was concerned about the technology he helped create being used for controlling people’s behavior and influencing their minds.

“This is the 1984 Big Brother scenario,” he said in an interview. “I think it’s becoming more and more scary.”

Bengio, a professor at the University of Montreal, is considered one of the three “godfathers” of deep learning, along with Yann LeCun and Geoff Hinton. It’s a technology that uses neural networks — a kind of software loosely based on aspects of the human brain — to make predictions based on data. It’s responsible for recent advances in facial recognition, natural language processing, translation, and recommendation algorithms.

Deep learning requires a large amount of data to provide examples from which to learn — but China, with its vast population and system of state record-keeping, has a lot of that.

The Chinese government has begun using closed circuit video cameras and facial recognition to monitor what its citizens do in public, from jaywalking to engaging in political dissent. It’s also created a National Credit Information Sharing Platform, which is being used to blacklist rail and air passengers for “anti-social” behavior and is considering expanding uses of this system to other situations.

Source: Deep Learning ‘Godfather’ Bengio Worries About China’s Use of AI

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