Software

The US, China, and the great AI race

In the closed-door talks, the US “underscored the importance of ensuring AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson wrote in a statement released by the White House.
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Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

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US and Chinese officials met in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 14, to discuss artificial intelligence, risks, and safety. In the closed-door talks, the US “underscored the importance of ensuring AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy in order to realize these benefits of AI, and of continuing to build global consensus on that basis,” National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Adrienne Watson wrote in a statement released by the White House.

Liu Pengyu, the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the US told IT Brew in an email that “China is committed to building a community with a shared future for humanity in the domain of AI and efforts to advocate a people-centered approach.” Liu also said the country seeks to “ensure that AI is safe, reliable, controllable, and capable of better empowering global sustainable development and enhancing the common well-being of all humanity.”

“As leading countries in the development of artificial intelligence, the dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States in this field not only concerns the future of the two countries but also concerns the well-being of all mankind. The two sides have the responsibility to engage in candid dialogue, manage differences, enhance consensus, expand cooperation, and lead the development of global AI,” he also said.

Mixed signals. The talks also come at a time when the US is considering restricting access to advanced AI models and “the core software of artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT,” according to Reuters.

A group of bipartisan senators, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, suggested Wednesday that Congress allocate at least $32 billion per year for “AI innovation,” according to a document titled Driving US Innovation in Artificial Intelligence.

“As Russia and China push their cyber agenda of censorship, repression, and surveillance, the AI Working Group encourages the executive branch to avoid creating a policy vacuum that China and Russia will fill, to ensure the digital economy remains open, fair, and competitive for all, including for the 3 million American workers whose jobs depend on digital trade,” the document also stated.

Close ties. China’s President Xi Jinping also recently met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on May 16, CNN reported. In an interview with China’s Xinhua News Agency on May 15, Putin told the outlet, which published the article in Chinese, that Russia and China would work bilaterally within sectors like AI, space, advanced tech, renewable energy, and more to develop even closer cooperation.

IT Brew has also reached out to the White House for comment. The Commerce Department said it did not have any comments to share but redirected IT Brew to the NSC readout.

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.