China-US artificial intelligence talks 'deep, professional and constructive'

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China and the United States exchanged “profound, professional and constructive” views in their first intergovernmental dialogue aimed at mitigating the risks of artificial intelligence and improving global governance.

According to a readout from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the two sides acknowledged in the talks in Geneva on Tuesday that there are opportunities and risks in the development of AI technology.

He reiterated his continued commitment to implementing the consensus when President Xi Jinping met with his US counterpart Joe Biden in San Francisco last November, the readout said.

The Chinese delegation was led by Yang Tao, director-general of the Department of North America and Maritime Affairs, and included officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission and other government agencies.

Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Technology and National Security Tarun Chhabra and Acting Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technologies Seth Center led the US side, accompanied by Commerce Department officials.

According to the readout, the two sides introduced their views on AI technology risks and governance measures, as well as measures taken to promote AI-powered economic and social development.

Yang said China has always adhered to the principle that AI technology should be people-centered and used for good, to ensure that AI technology is beneficial, safe and fair. He also expressed Beijing's willingness to engage more with Washington on AI governance.

“China supports strengthening the global governance of AI and favors the United Nations to play the role of a central channel,” Yang said.

“[China] Committed to strengthening communication and coordination with the international community, including the US, to develop global AI governance frameworks and standards and norms with broad consensus.

Chinese and US officials exchanged views on AI risks and governance during talks in Geneva on Tuesday. Photo: Weibo

During the meeting, the Chinese also clarified their “strong stance” on US sanctions and pressure on China in the field of artificial intelligence, the readout said.

The two powers have been seeking to improve ties and engage deeply on a range of issues, but expectations were low for a concrete breakthrough from the talks, which are aimed at implementing an agreement reached by Xi and Biden at a meeting in November. was

In a background briefing ahead of the talks, a US official said the meeting would not focus on “promoting any kind of technical cooperation or cooperation on cross-border research in any case”.

Instead, the discussion will focus on emerging risks related to AI systems, and how the two countries define “risk” and “security,” the official said. The US also plans to raise concerns over security risks posed by China's use of AI.

“[Beijing] Military, as well as civilian, is increasingly deploying capabilities in areas of national security, and in many cases in ways that we believe undermine the national security of the United States and allies.”

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