The chief executive of Microsoft, Satya Nadella told to BBC News that backing out from research in China due to the concerns over national security will hurt more. Cyber-security and trade issues are being affected because of the worsening trade relations between US and China.
He said that there is a lot of research on AI happening in open and the knowledge being got open benefits the world. He said that putting barriers on this would do more bad than good. The first office of Microsoft was opened in China in 1992 by its founder Bill Gates. There are about 200 scientists and 300 visiting scholars as well as students in Beijing office. Financial Times reported in April that researchers from Microsoft were working in collaboration with National University of Defense Technology of China, for developing projects based on artificial intelligence and some of the outside observers had warned this to be risky.
Ted Cruz, the Republican Senator said that the American firms should understand that holding hands with China for business aspects has deep and significant risks. However Nadella said that any technology has its own risk and that it can be used as tool or as a weapon. He said that what is to be ensured is that this weapon should not be created. Being creators, they should have a set of design principles which are ethical to ensure that the AI created is fair, private, secure and unbiased. His company exercised control over controversial technologies and many requests from China were turned down as it was inappropriate either due to technical infeasibility or due to ethical concerns.
Matt Sheehan, from Paulson Institute said that Microsoft’s office in Beijing has made significant impact in their growth. As per Google Scholar, the paper Deep Residual learning for Image Recognition which was published by 4 Chinese researchers in the year 2016 was cited about 25,256 times over the period from 2014-18 and no other paper holds this record.