Apple's Cook talks privacy, AI & App Store revenues at China's World Internet Conference

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2017
Speaking on Sunday at the World Internet Conference -- organized by the Cybersecurity Administration of China -- Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed a variety of topics, including sensitive ones that risked offending the pro-censorship Chinese government.




"Much has been said of the potential downsides of AI, but I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines," Cook said according to Bloomberg. "We all have to work to infuse technology with humanity, with our values."

The executive argued that technology should provide openness and creativity while simultaneously including privacy, protections, and decency.

Apple has sometimes been criticized for bowing to pressure by the Communist Party, as the latter attempts to exert more control over the internet and suppress dissent. Apple has for instance taken down Microsoft's Skype and various VPN apps from the Chinese App Store, despite rhetoric about privacy and user freedom in other countries.

The company is presumably worried about losing access to the Chinese market, which is its third biggest and might cost the company billions annually if it decided to make a stand.

Cook also revealed that there are about 1.8 million Chinese developers on its platforms, who have pulled in some $16.93 billion in App Store revenues, CNBC noted. That's approximately a quarter of worldwide App Store totals. Apple's Chinese operations in general are claimed to support over 5 million jobs.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    "Tim Cook Speaks At China Event Promoting Censored Internet"

    There, fixed that headline for you.
    anton zuykovSpamSandwich
  • Reply 2 of 17
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    tmaycgWerksracerhomiejony0
  • Reply 3 of 17
    I really like Tim Cook! :)

    racerhomiejony0
  • Reply 4 of 17

    "Tim Cook Speaks At China Event Promoting Censored Internet"

    There, fixed that headline for you.
     A bit fatuous, but I take your point. 
  • Reply 5 of 17
    In simple terms, China's government controls 'businesses.'

    In America, 'businesses' control government! :)
    SydNRayz2016robin huberGG1dasanman69tokyojimujony0minicoffee
  • Reply 6 of 17
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,759member
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    That was good to read.
    So, either Cook knows more about AI than Musk, or Musk has just let a bit too much sci-fi rub off on him.
    racerhomieGG1
  • Reply 7 of 17
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,471member
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    Second this.
    In simple terms, China's government controls 'businesses.'

    In America, 'businesses' control government! :)
    Second this too.
    cgWerks said:
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    That was good to read.
    So, either Cook knows more about AI than Musk, or Musk has just let a bit too much sci-fi rub off on him.

    Musk's life is like science fiction. And he thinks like a machine.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    SydNSydN Posts: 4member
    In simple terms, China's government controls 'businesses.'

    In America, 'businesses' control government! :)
    One of the best comments ever👌🏻
    Hats off to you sir !
    cincymac
  • Reply 9 of 17
    flaneur said:
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    Second this.
    In simple terms, China's government controls 'businesses.'

    In America, 'businesses' control government! :)
    Second this too.
    cgWerks said:
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    That was good to read.
    So, either Cook knows more about AI than Musk, or Musk has just let a bit too much sci-fi rub off on him.

    Musk's life is like science fiction. And he thinks like a machine.
    Tim lives on in his AI world, as realworld Apple privacy gets hampered by root access.  In the meantime Elon just makes things happen. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 10 of 17
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member

    "Tim Cook Speaks At China Event Promoting Censored Internet"

    There, fixed that headline for you.
     A bit fatuous, but I take your point. 
    It is fatuous unless he doesn't use any good being made in China or a country he doesn't approve off...
    I'm feeling that way (not approving) about the corrupt vile bigoted regime that leads the US.
    So can I add my own snark about any US regime event now. Seems I'd be perfectly entitled to do so especially with net neutrality now gone and mad Trump wanting to curtail freedom of speech on a near daily basis in 5-10 different ways. Just that pesky constitution being in his way, the way he knows nothing about beyond the second (but for how long if he's allowed to nominate another judge).
  • Reply 11 of 17
    I wouldn't underestimate the power Chinese corporations wield inside China today. Xi Jinping's authority is all about controlling dissent and managing the flow of information. Foreign entities (especially NGOs) are being targeted with new, even more restrictive laws. But Xi's ability to do this is built on the globalist economic foundation laid by his immediate predecessors, one that allows and encourages a significant role for private enterprise within China and around the world. There's a place for Apple in that, as a major source of employment and technological leadership, and that position gives Cook some weight.

    Not to downplay the dilemma Apple faces with regard to China's increasingly-effective and all-encompassing censorship, but I think I'd argue it's far less difficult to handle than what's happening in the rest of the world. In some ways, it is very straightforward.
    edited December 2017 jony0
  • Reply 12 of 17
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    Except, it is horses**t. Humans are machines...biological ones and very complex...but still machines, nonetheless.
    Also, speaking in China about privacy, is like speaking to Kim Jong Un about human rights...just saying.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 13 of 17
    "I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines" ...perhaps best words first said...? Thank you truly Mr. Tim Cook...
    Except, it is horses**t. Humans are machines...biological ones and very complex...but still machines, nonetheless.
    Also, speaking in China about privacy, is like speaking to Kim Jong Un about human rights...just saying.
    The word “machine” when used in this context is an analogy stretched to the point of uselessness. Reductio ad absurdum. Consider that we make them, not the other way around. Spare me science fiction repostes. 
    cgWerks
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Does Tim use Steve’s old G-3 to jet around or fly or fly commercial?
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Mr Cook talks about internet while China only has intranet. Not to mention it is also heavily censored.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Does Tim use Steve’s old G-3 to jet around or fly or fly commercial?
    He flies commercial - 2nd class...

  • Reply 17 of 17
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,759member
    foggyhill said:
    ... Trump wanting to curtail freedom of speech on a near daily basis in 5-10 different ways. Just that pesky constitution being in his way ...
    Heh. While I'm no Trump fan, for each example you give me about Trump, I can give you several back from the political 'left.' While I wouldn't say Republicans are the 'free speech' party by a long shot, they are, unfortunately, more free speech oriented these days than the Democrats.

    I assume you're talking about Net Neutrality? The problem is that there is anti-free-speech wording built right into it. And, while I'm a strong advocate of net neutrality, one of the biggest fears with the current policy is exactly free-speech.

    anton zuykov said:
    Except, it is horses**t. Humans are machines...biological ones and very complex...but still machines, nonetheless. 
    Also, speaking in China about privacy, is like speaking to Kim Jong Un about human rights...just saying.
    Bull-puckey. While we might be 'biological machines' we're also much more than that. If we weren't, there would be no need for human rights (nor basis for one), and this conversation we're having wouldn't be real.

    robin huber said:
    The word “machine” when used in this context is an analogy stretched to the point of uselessness. Reductio ad absurdum. Consider that we make them, not the other way around. Spare me science fiction repostes. 
    Well said!
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