Microsoft has collaborated with researchers linked to a Chinese military

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  • 13 Apr 2019 12:00 AM
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Microsoft’s Work With Military Causes Concern

Microsoft has been collaborating with researchers linked to a Chinese military-backed university on artificial intelligence, elevating concerns that US firms are contributing to China’s high-tech surveillance and censorship apparatus. Over the past year, researchers at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing have co-authored at least three papers with scholars affiliated with China’s National University of Defence Technology (NUDT), which is overseen by the Central Military Commission. The research covers a number of AI topics, such as face analysis and machine reading, which enables computers to parse and understand online text. While it is not unusual for US and Chinese scholars to conduct joint research, Microsoft’s work with the military-backed NUDT comes amid increasing scrutiny around China-US academic partnerships, as well as China’s high-tech surveillance drive in the north-west region of Xinjiang. In an email, a Microsoft spokesman said that the company’s researchers “conduct fundamental research with leading scholars and experts from around the world to advance our understanding of technology."

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