US labels AI talks with China 'constructive'

The Biden administration said Wednesday that its discussions with the Chinese government about artificial intelligence (AI) risks and safety were “candid and constructive.” 

The American and Chinese delegations “exchanged perspectives on their respective approaches to AI safety and risk management” during the meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement. 

The U.S. delegation emphasized the importance of “harnessing the benefits of AI for sustainable development” and “ensuring AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy,” Watson said. It also raised concerns about AI misuse, including by China. 

“The United States affirmed the need to maintain open lines of communication on AI risk and safety as an important part of responsibly managing competition,” Watson added. 

The bilateral talks are the result of President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting outside San Francisco last November. The pair met amid a period of particularly icy relations between Washington and Beijing and agreed to convene experts to discuss AI risks and safety. 

The talks on AI come as the technology continues to rapidly advance and lawmakers and regulators struggle to keep up.

A bipartisan working group led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a long-awaited framework for AI guidance Wednesday after months of closed-door forums with experts and stakeholders. 

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