May 23, 2024
US-China Talks in Geneva Focus on AI Risks

US-China Talks in Geneva Focus on AI Risks

The United States and China are scheduled to meet in Geneva to discuss artificial intelligence, with Washington emphasizing that its policies are not negotiable. President Joe Biden’s administration aims to reduce miscommunication with China by engaging in discussions on various issues, including AI risks. In April, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed to hold formal bilateral talks on AI during their meeting in Beijing.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Concerns and Objectives

The State Department has urged China and Russia to align with U.S. declarations that only humans, not artificial intelligence, should make decisions regarding the deployment of nuclear weapons. The U.S. is particularly concerned about China’s rapid deployment of AI across civilian, military, and national security sectors, which it believes undermines its security and that of its allies. The upcoming talks provide an opportunity for Washington to directly communicate its concerns to Beijing.

Focus and Participants

The U.S. delegation for the talks includes officials from the White House, State Department, Commerce Department, and the White House National Security Council (NSC). Biden administration plans to implement measures to safeguard U.S.-developed proprietary AI models from countries like China and Russia. While there is competition between the U.S. and China to shape the rules on AI, both sides also hope to explore the possibility of establishing common rules that could be embraced by all countries.

Leadership and Legislative Plans

Tarun Chhabra from the NSC and Seth Center from the State Department will lead the U.S. delegation, while Chinese officials from the Foreign Ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission will represent China. In the U.S., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer intends to issue recommendations in the coming weeks to address AI risks, which will be translated into legislation. Schumer highlights the competition with China and the divergent goals for AI, including surveillance and facial recognition applications, as reasons for the U.S. to take a leading role in crafting AI laws.

Chinese Perspective

Chinese authorities have emphasized the importance of developing “controllable” AI technology. While there may be differences in perspectives between the U.S. and China on AI, both sides recognize the importance of communication in addressing critical AI risks and enhancing global safety.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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