While speaking about the rise of artificial intelligence on the global stage, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Bill Gates that he welcomed U.S. firms, including Microsoft, bringing their AI tech to China.
According to a source, they told Reuters, the topic came up during a business development meeting in Beijing. As many know, Gates is a co-founder of Microsoft. Though he stepped down from the board back in 2020 to focus on philanthropic works, he is still regarded as a major player in tech.
It should also be noted that the comments related to AI during the meeting between Xi and Gates were not disclosed in reports from Chinese state media. Nor was it reflected upon in a post from Gates about his trip to China.
If true, this comes at a time when the Chinese government is heavily investing and investigating how AI can be regulated. Within the last several months, new rules related to deep fakes, governance, and data all have gone live in China.
This is as the EU and the United States are still building plans on how to handle AI within their own spaces. For those paying attention to the Chinese AI market, if these comments are true, then it should be of no surprise.
Xi Jinping has stated in the past that China needs to seize opportunities that come from AI’s potential as an economic driver. This is similar to the view of artificial intelligence that Goldman Sachs’s report back in March had.
Many in government and the private sectors see AI not so much as a massive disruptor but as a tool for economic growth. But not everyone agrees. Some, such as Deep Mind’s co-founder, view the technology as a likely disruptor in the labor markets, unseating countless workers from jobs that provide for their families; thus creating economic uncertainty.
Whatever the cause, dispute attempts by the United States and other nations, China is hoping to drive internal AI development and from that reap economic growth as they continue their own economic transitions.