Cooperation

Henry Kissinger warns US-China decoupling would harm AI governance


“In this sense, it is essential that we learn from each other,” he said via video link at the Bund Summit, a finance forum in China’s financial hub of Shanghai. “It is essential that we should not proceed in the decoupled way.”

Kissinger said China’s deep integration into the global economy has strengthened the US-China relationship because the two have become dependent on each other for trade.

“In this sense, it is essential that we learn from each other,” former US state secretary Henry Kissinger said via video link at the Bund Summit, a finance forum in China’s financial hub of Shanghai. “It is essential that we should not proceed in the decoupled way.” Photo: Weibo
However, in recent years the US and EU have attempted to “de-risk” from China and other rivals by moving to confine the supply chains for crucial resources – such as rare earths – to a circle of more trusted nations.

EU trade chief Dombrovskis says bloc doesn’t intend to decouple from China

Former US president Donald Trump started a trade war with China in 2018, citing a trade deficit and practices such as forced technological transfer to China. Trump’s successor, US President Joe Biden, has retained some of the measures.
Beijing and Washington have imposed trade restrictions on each other, including US curbs on chip exports to China and Beijing’s control of rare earths crucial to making semiconductors.

Kissinger said China and the US could cooperate on regulating the use of AI, without “an attempt for one side to achieve domination”.

The release of the ChatGPT chatbot last year kick-started a race to produce consumer products in China and elsewhere that can generate media based on prompts in plain language. AI-based products are also being applied in fields such as healthcare and finance.

These AI products, many of which are still unregulated, pose ethical problems because they have made it easier to create disinformation and replace human labour.

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Researchers in Singapore use AI to read minds through brain scans

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Kissinger said Western AI companies were focused only on “immediate problems” while competing with each other.

He added that China’s state control of AI developments meant the technology would be considered for military applications.

Kissinger called for the Western world to “create an opening by which we can understand” China’s AI research, “so that we do not live in constant fear of each other”.

He said AI regulation would require dialogue and “a mentality that avoids unilateral advantage”.

In July, China set up a new agency under its Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to create a local standard regulating large language models used in AI chatbots.

The country already regulates recommendation algorithms, synthetically generated content and, using an interim regulation, generative AI.



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