AI’s power is worthless without data privacy

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Honor CEO: AI Only Works If User Data Is Protected, On-Device AI Is Key

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming our world, but Honor CEO George Zhao cautions that its power is meaningless without robust data privacy and security. Speaking exclusively to CNBC, Zhao emphasized that Honor is committed to on-device AI, keeping user data protected within the smartphone itself, rather than relying on cloud-based solutions.

This stance comes as Apple prepares to launch its own personalized AI tools this fall, raising concerns about user data security. While Apple claims its "Private Cloud Compute" never stores user data, the use of cloud-based models for more complex AI tasks necessitates data transfer, raising questions about security.

Key Takeaways:

  • On-device AI is essential: Zhao believes that AI’s real power lies in empowering individuals, and that can only be achieved with secure, on-device solutions.
  • Cloud AI is too powerful: While cloud-based AI offers more processing power, Zhao worries it can make individuals feel "small" in comparison to the "stronger" object of a data-hungry system.
  • Balancing AI capabilities with privacy: The challenge for manufacturers is to ensure powerful AI features while protecting user data and energy efficiency.
  • Honor’s approach: The company is developing its own on-device AI solutions and working with leading cloud providers like Baidu and Google on certain features.
  • Focus on foldable phones: Honor’s Magic V2, which won "Best Smartphone in Asia Award" at Shanghai MWC, demonstrates the company’s focus on innovation and user experience.

Data Security Concerns and On-Device AI

Zhao’s concerns about data security are not unfounded. Generative AI applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT require significant computing power, often exceeding the capabilities of a smartphone. This forces developers to rely on cloud services, raising concerns about data transfer security.

By committing to on-device AI, Honor aims to address these concerns head-on. This approach allows for a more intimate and personalized user experience without compromising data security.

Honor’s AI Features

Honor has already incorporated several AI features into its smartphones, including:

  • Eye tracking: Enabling users to open notifications and text messages with just a glance.
  • Direct linking: Eliminating copy-pasting by linking apps like Yelp with navigation or ride-hailing apps.
  • Deepfake detection: New AI tools unveiled at MWC 2024 in Shanghai can detect deepfake videos.
  • Myopia reduction: AI-powered lenses in upcoming phones aim to reduce myopia caused by prolonged screen use.

The Future of AI and Smartphones

Zhao believes that on-device AI will be essential for empowering users in the future. He envisions a world where AI becomes more intimate and personalized, supporting individual users in their interactions with the digital world.

Honor’s Commitment to Innovation

Honor’s focus on on-device AI is a testament to the company’s commitment to both innovation and user privacy. By prioritizing data security and individual empowerment, Honor is positioning itself as a leader in the evolving landscape of AI-powered mobile technology.

The launch of the Magic V3 in July will be a key milestone for Honor, showcasing the company’s latest AI advancements and its continued commitment to delivering powerful, secure, and user-friendly devices. It remains to be seen how Honor’s approach to on-device AI will shape the future of smartphones and the role of AI in our lives.

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Brian Adams
Brian Adams
Brian Adams is a technology writer with a passion for exploring new innovations and trends. His articles cover a wide range of tech topics, making complex concepts accessible to a broad audience. Brian's engaging writing style and thorough research make his pieces a must-read for tech enthusiasts.