Queensland University Professor Heng Tao Shen
UQ researcher probed over AI Uighur surveil
  • Mon, 08/26/2019 - 20:41

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Ben Packham
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE CORRESPONDENT
@bennpackham
12:00AM August 26, 2019

The University of Queensland has launched an investigation into one of its professors who formed an artificial intelligence company — allegedly used by Beijing to surveil minority ­Uighurs — while working at the ­institution and receiving taxpayer-funded research grants.

Heng Tao Shen, who became one of UQ’s youngest ever professors in 2011, formed the China-based Koala AI Technology in 2015 after being named as an elite “Thousand Talents Scholar” by the Chinese Communist Party.

An Australian Strategic Policy Institute paper to be released today reveals Professor Shen, who has relocated to China but still holds an honorary professorship at UQ, built Koala AI into a $200 million company that provides surveillance technology used by the Chinese government to monitor Uighur Muslims.

Chinese-language documents uncovered by ASPI analyst Alex Joske reveal Professor Shen was appointed as a Thousand Talents Scholar by Beijing in 2014, and also took up a post at the University of Electronic Science and Technology China in 2014 as director of its future media centre.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT THE AUTRALIAN

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