What lies beyond the horizon for Megvii? Photo by @joshuaearle

Megvii and AI Ethics Principles

Megvii is a Chinese technology company.

It develops artificial intelligence technology for both businesses and the public sector.

The company is based in Beijing.

Their main focus is the design of image recognition and deep-learning software.

It was valued at USD $4 billion in 2019.

Megvii (Chinese: 旷视; pinyin: Kuàngshì).

For some reason I have also seen the name elsewhere as:

旷视科技; pinyin: Kuàng shì kējì.

My Chinese is not that great yet.

科技kējì means science and technology.

视 is the character for look at yet it varies a lot depending on the combination.

What they are called in English is Megvii standing for “mega vision.”

I recently saw a tab on their website of one of their products Face++.

Down at the bottom there is a tab called Commitment to the Responsible Use of AI products. It looks like the following:

What does it say?

  • Shared values are important — Megvii has a large solution, so this may be a challenge across regions.
  • It says ethical AI puts a great responsibility on the user.

Slightly simplified of course.

Apparently it is possible to contact Megvii.

It would be very interesting to know how the ethics are operationalised.

The company is growing rapidly having been raising $100 million in 2016, $460 million in 2017 and $750 million in May 2019.

According to EqualOcean it is one of the most funded AI startups in China, only surpassed by SenseTime:

The Chinese government employs Megvii software and a variety of large companies across China are doing so too.

With this great responsibility it would be great to know to a much larger extent how they work with ethics in practice.

If anyone reading this article has any information I would be happy to read more.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 328. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My focus for day 300–400 is about AI, hardware and the climate crisis.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau