Home US and Chinese diplomats meet to discuss AI risks

US and Chinese diplomats meet to discuss AI risks

The United States and China have sent delegates to a high-level meeting in Switzerland to discuss artificial intelligence (AI) and to reduce the possibility of “unintended conflict.”

Last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing with AI on the agenda, and President Joe Biden’s administration is said to have been keen to follow up on early initial dialogue after exchanges with President Xi’s team in San Francisco last November, coinciding with the 30 APEC Economic Leaders event.

The meeting tomorrow (May 14) in Geneva is set to comprise a range of issues to set clear lines of communication.  The Financial Times quoted a US official on the importance of setting parameters on rapidly evolving technology.

“Our approach on (sic) China remains focused on ‘invest, align and compete’ but we also believe intense competition requires intense diplomacy to reduce the risk of miscalculation and unintended conflict. This is particularly true in the case of AI.” 

Another report indicates Biden’s staff are alive to the “transformative potential” of AI but also wary of the “necessity of striking a balance between risk management and seizing the opportunities provided by advanced AI”.

US action to safeguard proprietary AI assets

China is thought to have prioritized AI development as a “major” focus and has already dedicated significant resources for civilian and military purposes which “we believe undermines both US and allied national security”.

The Biden administration plans to enforce guardrails on US-developed proprietary AI models that power chatbots like ChatGPT to ringfence the technology from countries like China and Russia.

The official US delegation will be made up of officials from the White House and State and Commerce Departments, according to the White House National Security Council (NSC).

Image credit: Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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