It is crucial to implement Global AI Governance Initiative and enhance global AI governance
Published: Oct 27, 2023 10:01 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Currently, international discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) are heating up, and three major questions have attracted attention.

Will AI open the "Pandora's box"? As an unprecedented new field in technological development, AI will undoubtedly bring huge dividends for human development and progress, but it may also bring unpredictable risks and complex challenges. Some experts have suggested that AI robots may possess "autonomous consciousness" within the next five years. Unlike previous technological developments, AI may surpass human intelligence and potentially pose a threat to human development. How to minimize the potential negative impacts of AI is a common challenge faced by all countries.

Will AI exacerbate the "development gap"? AI is regarded as the crown jewel of human technological development. Against the backdrop of changes unseen in a century and a global pandemic, the digital gap between developed and developing countries is already widening. Developing countries may face the dual challenges of the "digital gap" and the "intelligence gap." In particular, certain countries are drawing ideological lines, viewing the development of AI based on their own democratic values, and attempting to create a new "iron curtain" and deprive other countries of their legitimate development rights, which undoubtedly exacerbates the plight of developing countries. How to use AI to promote the common development of all countries around the world is a universal expectation of the international community, especially the Global South.

Can global AI governance outpace the "invisible hand"? Unlike traditional cutting-edge technologies that are mainly controlled by states, private enterprises are clearly in a leading position in AI innovation. It is well known that capital has inherent profit-seeking and risk-taking tendencies. The development of enterprises may prioritize private interests over public interests, leading to the disorderly or even chaotic development of artificial intelligence. How to promote global AI governance and ensure that AI technology benefits humanity is a crucial issue for the future of mankind.

Global AI Governance Initiative is a Chinese solution to these questions. In October 2023, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and delivered a keynote speech. During his address, he announced China's proposal for the Global AI Governance Initiative (hereafter referred to as the Initiative) and said that China stands ready to increase exchanges and dialogue with other countries and jointly promote the sound, orderly and secure AI development in the world.

The Initiative commits to a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, puts equal emphasis on development and security, and stresses the importance of building consensus through dialogue and cooperation in a bid to promote AI technologies to benefit humanity and contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind. It proposes to uphold a people-centered approach, and adheres to the principle of developing AI for good so that AI always develops in a way that is beneficial to human civilization.

The Initiative emphasizes national sovereignty and upholds the principles of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit in AI development. It points out that all countries, regardless of their size, strength, or social system, should have equal rights to develop and use AI. It also opposes drawing ideological lines, forming exclusive groups, creating barriers through technological monopolies and unilateral coercive measures as well as using AI technologies for the purposes of manipulating public opinion and jeopardizing the sovereignty of other states.

The Initiative upholds the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, proposing the construction of open, fair, and efficient governing mechanisms to promote the AI governance in a coordinated manner. It proposes to increase the representation and voice of developing countries in global AI governance and support discussions within the United Nations framework to establish an international institution to govern AI. The Initiative also puts forward specific principles, guidelines, or suggestions regarding personal privacy and data protection, data acquisition, algorithm design, technological development, risk assessment, ethical guidelines, etc.

We should work together to make sure that AI will benefit humanity and create a better future. AI is a common issue that concerns the future of all mankind and countries. In response to the expectations of the international community, China has put forward the Chinese solution in a responsible manner based on Chinese practices and experiences. China is willing to work with the international community, uphold the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and jointly promote global AI governance so as to enable AI to better empower the world and the development of all countries, as well as contribute to fostering a community with a shared future for mankind.

The author is an observer on international affairs. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn