Elon Musk thinks China is interested in an international AI framework

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters) – Billionaire Elon Musk said on Wednesday he thinks China is interested in a cooperative international framework on artificial intelligence, from conversations he had when he visited a few weeks ago.

Musk made the remarks in a Twitter Space event with two U.S. congressmen, Democrat Ro Khanna and Republican Mike Gallagher.

“China is definitely interested in working in a cooperative international framework for AI regulation,” Musk said. He added that he had advocated for artificial intelligence regulations and oversight, including in his meetings in China.

Musk’s remarks came on the day he launched his long-teased artificial intelligence startup, xAI, after arguing for months about AI’s potential for “civilization destruction.”

Musk recently traveled to China and met the foreign, commerce and industry ministers as well as Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang. His Tesla (TSLA.O) electric car company has a factory in Shanghai.

Musk later said the Chinese government would seek to initiate artificial intelligence regulations.

On Thursday, China issued a set of interim measures to manage the booming industry, paving the way for its tech companies to roll out AI services.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China attached great importance to the development and governance of AI and “advocates adhering to the principle of human-centred intelligence and creating artificial intelligence for good.”

“China is willing to enhance communication and exchanges with the international community on AI security governance, promote the establishment of an international mechanism with universal participation, and form a governance framework and standards that share broad consensus,” Wang told a regular briefing in response to a question about Musk’s comments.

Several governments are considering how to mitigate the dangers of the emerging technology, which has experienced a boom in investment and consumer popularity in recent months after the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Regulators globally have been scrambling to draw up rules governing the use of generative AI, which can create text and images. Its impact has been compared to that of the internet.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Anna Tong, additional reporting by Liz Lee in Beijing; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Kanishka Singh is a breaking news reporter for Reuters in Washington DC, who primarily covers US politics and national affairs in his current role. His past breaking news coverage has spanned across a range of topics like the Black Lives Matter movement; the US elections; the 2021 Capitol riots and their follow up probes; the Brexit deal; US-China trade tensions; the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan; the COVID-19 pandemic; and a 2019 Supreme Court verdict on a religious dispute site in his native India.

Anna Tong is a correspondent for Reuters based in San Francisco, where she reports on the technology industry. She joined Reuters in 2023 after working at the San Francisco Standard as a data editor. Tong previously worked at technology startups as a product manager and at Google where she worked in user insights and helped run a call center. Tong graduated from Harvard University.