Chapter 24: Automated inequalities: examining the social implications of artificial intelligence in China
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A variety of evidence from Western societies has shown that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms hasn’t automatically produced fairer, more objective, and unbiased outcomes as their developers often alleged. Instead, in many cases, AI helps reenact, reinforce, and aggravate social inequalities. With different governmental pursuits, economic models, and societal norms, the social implications of China’s AI policies and the use of AI diverge from those in the West. This chapter examines the social consequences of AI in the understudied Chinese context and explains how AI-powered tools and AI policy in China exacerbate or mitigate social inequalities in China in different aspects, such as economic, gender, and urban-rural. With China setting the goal to be a world leader in AI, we caution that these social issues should not be out of the scope of AI, given the impact of these systems on human lives.

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