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Seeking common ground for meaningful Sino-US dialogue

China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-04 07:20

Editor's note: In a recent interview with the Institute of Public Policy of South China University of Technology, Zheng Yongnian, a professor of politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), talked about the development of artificial intelligence and the prospects of cooperation between China and the United States in this field. Excerpts follow:


Artificial intelligence has covered big data and robotics and penetrated all aspects of political, economic and social life. From this perspective, AI's influences on the global geopolitical order and human society may be deeper than nuclear weapons.

Fortunately, the dialogue between China and the United States in the field of artificial intelligence has some basis for optimism. At the San Francisco summit at the end of last year, the two countries reached a consensus on establishing an intergovernmental dialogue mechanism on artificial intelligence and also achieved some results after holding several rounds of talks. Despite obvious differences because of Washington's confrontational approach and other factors, the continued holding of dialogue between the two countries in this field bodes well.

Despite fierce competition in the field of AI, the different AI development models of China and the US provide room for bilateral dialogue and complementarity, since the US is in a leading position in large model technology and algorithm research and development, while China enjoys certain advantages in technology supervision and big data application.

AI technology is currently developing at a fast pace in the US, as the tech giants there continue to make new breakthroughs, coming up with Sora, ChatGPT4.0, etc. However, it should be noted that the US has been taking a laissez-faire approach to AI, with almost no regulatory framework at the federal level. This approach is fraught with dangers for US society. For example, AI-generated fake news is being used to mislead voters. If AI in the US continues to develop in this unregulated manner, it will have more negative impacts on society. In comparison, China has made better progress in establishing AI-related rules. China and the US can learn from each other on AI, and the US in particular should learn from China's regulatory initiatives.

In a globalized world, neither China nor the US can completely ignore each other's AI. Although the US attempts to achieve absolute leadership in AI, it still overestimates itself in some aspects. China is very smart in the commercial application of AI, and there is the possibility of it catching up with the US.

It is hoped that the consensus reached by the two heads of state will serve as a good starting point for China and the US to appreciate each other's AI advantages and learn from each other, which is good for the development of the two countries and world peace.

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