Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook has called for future Internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity.
Cook made the comments on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the China Internet World Conference. designed to globally promote the country's vision of a more censored and controlled Internet. It is the second appearance in China in two months for the executive, who met with President Xi Jinping in October.
"The theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we have in  Apple shares," Cook said. "We are proud to have worked together with many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."
Cook's comments are at a key point for the company's future in China, which is now its largest market outside of North America. It is based on the sale of hardware and services in the most populated country in the world to boost revenues and profit growth . But the efforts necessary to remain in good relations with China are causing tensions with civil libertarians and politicians at home.
He said that Apple's operations began three decades ago with a handful of employees. Today, it helps support more than 5 million jobs in China, including 1.8 million local mobile application developers, he added.
Under Fire  Apple has been under fire for cooperating with the Chinese authorities in removing applications that offer users uncensored communications. In November, Apple complied with government orders to take Microsoft Corp. S out of Skype's phone and video service of the Chinese version of its popular app store. Cook used an earnings call with investors to justify such movements, saying that he obeyed the laws of the markets where he operates.
"A lot has been said about the possible disadvantages of AI, but I do not care about machines that think like humans, I worry about people thinking like machines," he said. "We all have to work to infuse technology with humanity, with our values."
The technology of the future must have openness, creativity and safeguards to protect users while providing privacy and decency, he added.
It's a goal that, according to Cook's Chinese hosts, can only be achieved through more laws and regulations that control what can be shared online. Politburo member Wang Huning called for a global emergency response team that would respond in times of crisis using new and undetermined measures.
"What we propose is to promote a controllable security and build a new order" Wang said through a translator. "Cybersecurity is a serious challenge: cybercrime and cyber terrorism have become more rampant, the fate of the world has become more intertwined in cyberspace."
Sundar Pichai of Alphabet Inc. will also deliver a speech and join a panel on Sunday. Other leading technology executives involved include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. President Jack Ma, Cisco Systems Inc. Chuck Robbins, Tencent Holdings Ltd. Ma Pony and Baidu Inc. founder Robin Li.
– With badistance by David Ramli