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China’s A.I. Advances Help Its Tech Industry, and State Security

“Volkswagen will protect customers from the misuse of their data,” Mr. Ludewig said.

Delphi, the American auto parts giant, said it had a relationship with iFlyTek to offer its services in China but declined to disclose details.

Mr. Liu, the head of iFlyTek’s automotive business, said that the company’s systems would be installed next year in some Jeeps sold in China and that it was developing automotive voice systems with Daimler, which owns the Mercedes-Benz brand. FiatChrysler, Jeep’s parent, said it had not found any of its suppliers using iFlytek. A Daimler spokeswoman said that the company was regularly in discussions with potential suppliers but declined to say if iFlyTek was one of them.

Human rights groups worry that such rapidly evolving capabilities will be abused by China’s autocratic government.

“The Chinese government has been collecting the voice patterns of tens of thousands of people with little transparency about the program or laws regulating who can be targeted or how that information is going to be used,” Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch’s China director, wrote in a report in October.

In its home province of Anhui, iFlyTek has assembled a database of 70,000 voice patterns, according to the report, which also said that the police had begun collecting records of voice patterns as they would fingerprints. The report cited as one example three women suspected of being sex workers whose voices were registered in a database, it said, in part because they had been arrested in Anhui.

The local Chinese media has also reported about a new plan in Anhui to scan voice calls automatically for the voice-prints of wanted criminals, and alert the police if they are detected.

IFlyTek did not respond to requests for comment on the Human Rights Watch report but has said its data-gathering efforts will not stop, particularly as it participates in China’s push to develop self-driving cars.

“We are always talking about big data — the vehicle produces many images every day,” said Mr. Liu, the iFlyTek automotive executive.

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