Life could become like George Orwell's 1984 within three years if laws aren't introduced to protect the public from artificial intelligence, Microsoft president Brad Smith has warned.
Smith predicts that the kind of controlled, mass surveillance society portrayed by Orwell in his 1949 dystopian novel 'could come to pass in 2024' if more isn't done to curb the spread of AI.
It is going to be difficult for lawmakers to catch up with rapidly advancing artificial intelligence and surveillance technology, he told BBC Panorama during a special exploring China's increasing use of AI to monitor its citizens.
The Microsoft president said: 'If we don't enact the laws that will protect the public in the future, we are going to find the technology racing ahead.'
During the special episode, Panorama uncovered 'shocking and chilling' evidence showing that China uses AI to monitor its population, including technology that claims to be able to 'recognise emotions' and determine guilt.
That is according to a software engineer who also provided documentary evidence to the programme.