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US and Chinese Officials Initiate Discussions on Artificial Intelligence in Geneva | SiouxlandProud | Sioux City, IA

Closed-Door Talks in Geneva Discussing AI Risks and Dialogue between U.S. and China

U.S. and China envoys meet in Geneva to discuss AI risks

GENEVA (AP) — Top envoys from the U.S. and China engaged in closed-door talks in Geneva on Tuesday to address emerging artificial intelligence technologies and their potential risks.

The talks, initiated by Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in late 2023, aim to establish a bilateral dialogue between the two leading economies on the rapidly evolving technology that impacts various aspects of society including trade, culture, politics, national security, and defense.

American technology experts view the meeting as an opportunity to gain insights into China’s approach to AI, a topic on which the country has traditionally remained tight-lipped. Jason Glassberg, co-founder of Casaba Security in Redmond, Washington, emphasized the importance of both countries recognizing the risks associated with AI misuse or weaponization, particularly in the realm of deepfakes and disinformation campaigns.

As the U.S. and China strive to enhance AI safety, experts like Paul Scharre from the Center for New American Security stress the importance of maintaining strict human control over such technologies, especially in military applications. Scharre highlighted the potential for a U.S.-China agreement on managing AI risks to influence other nations to follow suit.

The reason for choosing Geneva as the meeting location remains unclear, but the city’s reputation as a diplomatic hub aligns with its hosting of the upcoming “AI for Good” conference organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The ITU, led by American Doreen Bogdan-Martin, will convene the conference later this month, following the intergovernmental dialogue on AI initiated during a meeting between Xi and Biden in San Francisco.

While the U.S. aims to establish guidelines for AI development and usage, experts suggest China’s cautious approach may stem from concerns about the technology’s military and surveillance implications. U.S. officials intend to propose voluntary commitments and safety tests for AI products to mitigate potential risks associated with the technology.

The outcome of the meeting between the U.S. and China in Geneva could have significant implications for global AI governance and technological advancements.

This news story was first published on May 14, 2024, and updated on May 15, 2024, to correct the spelling of Doreen Bogdan-Martin’s name as the head of the International Telecommunications Union.

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