Sam Altman, the CEO of ChatGPT developer OpenAI, called for a collaboration between American and Chinese researchers to counter the risks of artificial intelligence (AI).
“China has some of the best AI talent in the world. So I really hope Chinese AI researchers will make great contributions here,” Altman said Saturday at a conference in Beijing, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Counter-protesters hold up Chinese flags to oppose the protesters gathering in central London to attend a march organised by StandwithHK and D4HK in support of Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, on August 17, 2019. – Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement faces a major test this weekend as it tries to muster another huge crowd following criticism over a recent violent airport protest and as concerns mount over Beijing’s next move. (Photo by Isabel Infantes / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
Chinese speakers at the conference reportedly came from top universities and companies, including the U.S.-blacklisted telecom company Huawei Technologies, search giant Baidu, and speech-recognition firm iFlytek.
In 2019, the United States sanctioned iFlytek, saying it aided the Chinese Communist Party in the surveillance of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China.
Additionally, the U.S. imposed sanctions in China last year in an attempt to stop the hostile foreign country from accessing the most popular cutting-edge chips needed for AI development.
Tech watchers and industry leaders have also warned that China is only two years behind U.S. development in generative AI. Meanwhile, the Chinese government has made developing AI a priority.
The Chinese conference that Altman spoke at on Saturday has been hosted annually since 2019 by the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence, which is a government-sponsored research nonprofit that is sometimes referred to as the OpenAI equivalent of China.
Altman delivered the opening keynote for a session about AI safety and alignment, which drew laughter from audience members when he said, “Open-source could benefit AI safety,” the Wall Street Journal reported.