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No varsity developing any AI tech with foreign comp to snoop on Uyghur Muslims in China: Official

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

No university will develop any national secret programme with a foreign enterprise in China, a has said, denying reports that the US Microsoft, in cooperation with some Chinese varsities is developing based for snooping on Uyghur Muslims in

British newspaper reported that Research Asia, the US tech company's Beijing-based research arm, and researchers linked to the Chinese military-run National cooperated in developing (AI) based to detain minorities (in Xinjiang).

"In no way would Chinese universities develop any national secret program with a foreign enterprise," the state-run quoted an of a lab supported by the (MOE) and at a university in Northeast as saying.

Their cooperation with was based on principles of academic freedom and openness. Its purpose is to train skilled AI professionals, the said.

was in turmoil for the last several years following Uyghur protests over large scale settlements of Han Chinese into the resource rich province.

blames the separatist (ETIM) for violent terrorist attacks in and other parts of the country in the last several years.

A number of reportedly joined Islamic State (IS) in and planned to return.

The UN human rights panel said in August last year that it had received many credible reports that about a million ethnic in have been detained in "massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy".

China defended the camps saying that they are re-education camps aimed at de-radicalise sections of the Uyghur Muslim population from extremism and separatism.

The US and several other countries besides the UN officials have expressed concern over the camps.

Microsoft has also rejected the accusations.

"Microsoft's researchers, who are often academics, conduct fundamental research with leading scholars and experts from around the world to advance our understanding of technology," a Microsoft told on Thursday.

The said "the research is guided by our principles and fully complies with the US and local laws. It will be published to ensure transparency".

Microsoft has been working with some Chinese universities since 2018 under the guidance of the MOE on an engineering project, according to Research website.

The project is part of the implementation of a plan for AI development launched by in 2017.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 16:40 IST