US and China to meet in Geneva for AI risk discussions

The US wants China to match its stance on ensuring that only humans, not AI, make decisions on deploying nuclear weapons.

Flag of USA and China on cracked concrete wall background

The US and China are set to meet in Geneva on Tuesday to discuss advanced AI, with US officials underscoring that Washington’s policies would not be open for negotiation, despite exploring ways to address risks associated with the technology. President Joe Biden’s administration aims to engage China on various fronts to minimise miscommunication between the two countries, with AI being a focal point. Earlier discussions between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing laid the groundwork for these formal bilateral talks on AI.

Highlighting concerns over China’s rapid deployment of AI across multiple sectors, including civilian, military, and national security, US officials stress the need for direct communication to address security implications for the US and its allies. However, they clarified that talks with Beijing do not involve promoting technical collaboration or negotiating technology protection policies.

Despite competing interests in shaping AI rules, both the US and China hope to explore areas where mutual agreements can enhance global safety. Tarun Chhabra from the US National Security Council and Seth Center from the State Department will lead the discussions with Chinese officials, focusing on critical AI risks. Meanwhile, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer intends to issue recommendations on addressing AI risks in the coming weeks, emphasising the need for proactive legislation to navigate the competitive landscape with China and regulate AI advancements effectively.