Microsoft president Brad Smith suggested that unregulated AI like facial recognition could result in widespread mass surveillance similar to the premise of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 if more laws aren’t established to protect people. Smith shared his thoughts on the subject while speaking to BBC Panorama on a feature that explored China’s use of AI tech to monitor its citizens. He warned that lawmakers enact new rules now as AI races ahead or that “it’s going to be very difficult to catch up.”

Zoom In: China, among others, has embraced AI and facial recognition. It has a well-established system of more than half of the world’s 770 million closed-circuit TV (CCTV)  cameras continuously monitoring the public. With its institutions receiving more AI patents in 2019 than its counterparts in the US, China seeks to be the global leader on AI by 2030.

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