In a reported discussion between Xi Jinping and Bill Gates, China’s President conveyed a willingness to embrace artificial intelligence, or AI, technology from the U.S. This has raised questions about the potential risks involved amid global calls for more stringent regulations and worries over China gaining a competitive edge in this field.
Xi expressed his willingness to embrace U.S. companies, such as Microsoft, bringing their AI technology to China, reported Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
While Xi Jinping’s positive reception of U.S. AI tech signifies a potential opportunity for collaboration and a shift in dynamics, the details of the discussion and the extent of its impact remain undisclosed.
The Chinese President has previously emphasized the need for the country to seize opportunities in AI to drive economic growth. He subsequently emphasized the importance of caution due to the associated risks, leading China to consider new laws and regulations for AI technology, the report noted.
Why It’s Important: Gates was the first prominent Western business leader to be received by Xi since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting also occurred amidst strained U.S.-China relations, where AI has become a key point of contention.
Earlier this month, Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk also visited China and said that the country “will be initiating AI regulation.”
However, Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG GOOGL former CEO Eric Schmidt earlier disagreed with U.S. tech experts, including Musk, asking for a complete shutdown of AI developments “more powerful” than OpenAI’s GPT-4. At the time, he said that such a step would “simply benefit China.”
For the unversed, Microsoft’s involvement in China spans over three decades, with a significant research center and its Bing portal being the only foreign search engine accessible within China’s Great Firewall. However, search results on sensitive topics are subject to censorship.
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