AIAP: China’s AI Superpower Dream with Jeffrey Ding

“In July 2017, The State Council of China released the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan. This policy outlines China’s strategy to build a domestic AI industry worth nearly US$150 billion in the next few years and to become the leading AI power by 2030. This officially marked the development of the AI sector as a national priority and it was included in President Xi Jinping’s grand vision for China.” (FLI’s AI Policy – China page) In the context of these developments and an increase in conversations regarding AI and China, Lucas spoke with Jeffrey Ding from the Center for the Governance of AI (GovAI). Jeffrey is the China lead for GovAI where he researches China’s AI development and strategy, as well as China’s approach to strategic technologies more generally.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

-China’s historical relationships with technology development
-China’s AI goals and some recently released principles
-Jeffrey Ding’s work, Deciphering China’s AI Dream
-The central drivers of AI and the resulting Chinese AI strategy
-Chinese AI capabilities
-AGI and superintelligence awareness and thinking in China
-Dispelling AI myths, promoting appropriate memes
-What healthy competition between the US and China might look like

Here you can find the page for this podcast: https://futureoflife.org/2019/08/16/chinas-ai-superpower-dream-with-jeffrey-ding/

Important timestamps: 

0:00 Intro 
2:14 Motivations for the conversation
5:44 Historical background on China and AI 
8:13 AI principles in China and the US 
16:20 Jeffrey Ding’s work, Deciphering China’s AI Dream 
21:55 Does China’s government play a central hand in setting regulations? 
23:25 Can Chinese implementation of regulations and standards move faster than in the US? Is China buying shares in companies to have decision making power? 
27:05 The components and drivers of AI in China and how they affect Chinese AI strategy 
35:30 Chinese government guidance funds for AI development 
37:30 Analyzing China’s AI capabilities 
44:20 Implications for the future of AI and AI strategy given the current state of the world 
49:30 How important are AGI and superintelligence concerns in China?
52:30 Are there explicit technical AI research programs in China for AGI? 
53:40 Dispelling AI myths and promoting appropriate memes
56:10 Relative and absolute gains in international politics 
59:11 On Peter Thiel’s recent comments on superintelligence, AI, and China 
1:04:10 Major updates and changes since Jeffrey wrote Deciphering China’s AI Dream 
1:05:50 What does healthy competition between China and the US look like? 
1:11:05 Where to follow Jeffrey and read more of his work

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Deciphering China’s AI Dream: https://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/Deciphering_Chinas_AI-Dream.pdf
FLI AI Policy – China page: https://futureoflife.org/ai-policy-china/
ChinAI Newsletter: https://chinai.substack.com
Jeff’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/jjding99
Previous podcast with Jeffrey: https://youtu.be/tm2kmSQNUAU