The Chinese government has recently announced that it wants to adopt a friendlier approach to AI development , allowing for more international collaboration.
At the World AI Conference in Shanghai, Liu He, China's vice premier, stated that the future of AI would depend heavily on a more collaborative approach across nations.
"We're hoping that all countries, as members of the global village, will be inclusive and support each other so that we can respond to the double-edged-sword effect of new technologies," he said. "AI represents a new era. Cross-national and cross-discipline cooperation is inevitable."
President Xi Jinping also clarified the country's plans in a letter presented at the conference where he announced that China would "share results with other countries in the field of AI," and called for international collaboration on AI ethics, law, governance and security.
This is a sharp contrast to the AI plan the Chinese government unveiled just over a year ago, which proposed a far more aggressive approach to AI development.
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Toward the end of 2017, the country announced it was embarking on an unprecedented effort to master AI in an attempt to be the global leader by 2030, fortifying its position as the dominant global economic power.
This effort called on Chinese AI researchers to lead the way globally and resulted in much talk of an AI arms race with other nations, in particular the US. The new announcement marks a move away from this attitude and attempts to dispel those rumors.
The news of China's desire to have a more amicable relationship with the US in this respect will come as a surprise and relief to experts. Many predicted that the recent rise in tension after Trump imposed severe tariffs on Chinese imports would lead to an all-out trade war, perhaps worse.
A model for national collaboration has yet to be announced.