US And Chinese Experts Collaborate On AI Safety

OpenAI, Anthropic, and Cohere hold secret talks with Chinese AI experts on AI safety, aiming for global standards.

What are the goals of US-China AI safety talks?

In a move highlighting the global importance of AI safety, American AI companies OpenAI, Anthropic, and Cohere have engaged in clandestine diplomacy with Chinese AI experts. This collaboration, held in Geneva, focused on mitigating the risks posed by AI in spreading misinformation and threatening social cohesion.

Secret Geneva Meetings: Bridging AI Safety Concerns

The meetings, occurring in July and October of last year, brought together scientists and policy experts from North American AI groups and representatives from Tsinghua University and other Chinese state-backed institutions. Participants discussed AI risks and emphasized the need for investment in AI safety research, seeking a scientific path to develop sophisticated AI technology safely. A participant highlighted the necessity of agreement between major actors to set international standards around AI safety.

A Rare Instance Of Sino-US Cooperation

These secret talks, not previously reported, mark a rare instance of cooperation between the US and China amidst their competitive race in cutting-edge technologies like AI and quantum computing. Despite Washington's current restrictions on exporting high-performance chips essential for developing advanced AI software, AI safety has emerged as a common ground for technological collaboration.

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The Broader Context And Future Dialogues

The Geneva meetings, known to officials from the White House, UK, and China, were organized by the Shaikh Group, a private mediation organization. Future discussions are planned to focus on scientific and technical proposals for aligning AI systems with societal norms and legal codes. These dialogues are part of a broader movement advocating for international cooperation in regulating AI development.

Growing Momentum For Global AI Regulation

The urgency for such cooperation was underlined in November when Chinese scientists and Western academics, including China's renowned computer scientist Andrew Yao, called for tighter AI controls. They advocated for an international regulatory body, mandatory registration and auditing of advanced AI systems, and significant investment in AI safety. OpenAI confirmed its participation in the Geneva discussions, while Anthropic and Cohere did not comment, and Tsinghua University remained unresponsive to inquiries.

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