Four professors from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford propose in an article published on voxdev.org that facial recognition, without global trade regulation, could pose a threat to democracy around the world and help entrench autocratic regimes.

The article was authored by professors Martin Beraja of MIT, David Yang of Harvard University, and Noam Yuchtman of All Souls College, Oxford, along with Andrew Kao, Ph.D. student of economics at Harvard.

In their article, the scholars argue that global trade, including its influence from leading AI innovators, has played a crucial role in fostering democracy worldwide. They quote former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who remarked: “No nation on Earth has discovered a way to import the world’s goods and services while stopping foreign ideas at the border.” However, they also caution that while trade can bring democratic ideas, it can also promote non-democratic ideologies. The professors express concern about the influence of non-democratic countries, like China, on developing nations with significant trade and investment ties. These relationships raise concerns about potential drifts from democratic ideals.

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