AI for Social Good, AI for Datong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The Chinese government and technology companies assume a proactive stance towards digital technologies and AI and their roles in users’—and more generally, people’s—lives. This vision of ‘Tech for Good’, i.e., the development of good digital technologies and AI or the application of them for good, is also shared by major technology companies in the globe, e.g., Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Interestingly, these initiatives have invited a number of critiques for their feasibility and desirability, particularly in relation to the social and political conditions of liberal democratic societies. In this article, I discuss whether these critiques also apply to the Chinese context and contend that Confucian philosophy provides the normative resources to answer these critiques. This cross-cultural analysis, therefore, allows us to formulate a different account of AI4SG, which I shall call ‘AI for Datong’, and helps us in our reimagining of the normative vision for AI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-57
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • AI for social good
  • Confucianism
  • Tech for good
  • Pluralism


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