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Cultural industry needs to address AI ethical issue, experts say

By Zhou Mo in Shenzhen | | Updated: 2024-05-24 15:04
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The development of artificial intelligence will inject fresh impetus to the cultural industry, but ethical issue needs to be well addressed to ensure sound integration between the two, experts said on Friday.

They made the remarks at the Sub-Forum on High-Quality Development of Cultural Trade, which is one of the eight sub-forums of the Forum on Building up China's Cultural Strength 2024, held in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

Li Xiaomu, vice-president of the Capital University of Economics and Business, stressed the importance of taking good advantage of AI technology to promote cultural trade.

"We need to coordinate the relationship between the application of digital technologies and cultural content creation and should not overemphasize technology while ignoring cultural content," he noted.

"It is important to build a sound connection and make a good transformation between the two."

China's foreign cultural trade amounted to over $220 billion in 2022, growing about 11 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. While imports and exports of cultural products hit $180.3 billion, those of cultural services reached $41.4 billion.

"One of the positive impacts AI brings to the culture is that it allows more young people to involve in the industry," Wang Peng, presenter of Asia Digital Art Exhibition, said.

"With AI and other digital technologies, we have noticed a growing interest in culture among youths. Spirits of innovation are also on the rise. The advanced technologies are creating more opportunities for youngsters to use their imaginations to create," Wang said.

Yi Di, vice-president of Perfect World Holding Group, an entertainment industry group, cautioned the ethical issue lying in the application of AI technology, believing it a major challenge in integrating AI with the cultural industry.

"Ethical problem often occur in many to-consumer applications of AI technology — how should we deal with the emotions and relations between human and machine. The more AI understands human, the more human will fall into the emotions with machine, which could bring negative influence to one's psychology. That presents a challenge for us," Yi said.

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