Artificial intelligence requires a global agreement against its dangers

For Vietnamese expert Nguyen Anh Tuan, common standards are needed to prevent abuse and protect privacy and workers. China uses artificial intelligence (AI) to control its population. AI raises concerns about its application to make more lethal weapons. The use of new technologies must be based on respect for democratic values.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – An international agreement is needed to prevent the threats and dangers that come with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), this according to Nguyen Anh Tuan.

Founder and Director of The Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation (MDI), and cofounder and CEO of The Boston Global Forum (BGF), Tuan was named Person of The Year 2018 by Vietnam National Television (VTV).

The application of what is considered the technology of the future is a delicate issue from ethical and practical perspectives.

AI enthusiasts argue it will boost humanity’s intellectual abilities, improving productivity in many fields. This technology, they say, also offers solutions to socio-political problems, like detecting fake news.

However, AI come with its own problems; for example, anti-pandemic controls in Asia are the most stringent limiting privacy rights.

New technologies, such as AI and big data, favour the intrusion of authorities into people's private lives. Then there is the issue of human work, since AI allow companies to reduce labour costs.

For Tuan, it is good that a public debate has started, especially since many people say they are worried about future developments.

To reduce the negative effects, he argues that every individual must be enabled to access new technologies on an equal basis.

Several observers warn however that this technology represents an inescapable danger for humanity; for example, China uses AI to control its population through facial recognition systems and data profiling.

In light of this, Tuan calls for the adoption of certain standards to prevent the abuse of AI and digital systems.

Another "structural" danger is the use of AI to increase the lethality of modern weapons, like hypersonic missiles and armed drones, a situation that raises the chances of a conflict in East Asia and Southeast Asia.

For Tuan, the only solution to avoid this is international cooperation to regulate the use of artificial intelligence. “Nations,” he says, “can have different cultures, but we need consensus values, standards in the AI Age based democratic values”.