Kissinger Calls for US-China Collaboration to Prevent AI Catastrophe
In an open letter published in Foreign Affairs, political heavyweights Henry Kissinger and Graham Allison addressed President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, urging immediate joint actions to avert a looming global catastrophe.
Three years ago, a startling prediction emerged – the world faced the daunting possibility of evading the Thucydides Trap but at the perilous cost of a partnership with profound implications. This forecast, originating from Allison’s essay, “Will China truly surpass America in the AI race?” was based on the analysis of two stark alternatives:
- The AI race could plunge the United States and China into the “Fukidid trap” – the inexorable path towards a total war between the reigning superpower and its challenger threatening to seize the throne.
- Alternatively, the United States, and by extension, the entire Western democratic world, might embrace a new societal structure, akin to the Chinese global big brother, as a solution to both internal resistance and global stability.
In 2021, the U.S. Commission on National Security, led by Alphabet’s former director Eric Schmidt and ex-U.S. Defense Secretary Boba Warcom, advised the United States against forsaking Western freedoms due to a potential “marriage in hell” with China.
However, the Revolution of Generative AI in 2023 compelled a group of influential political consultants and technological leaders, including Schmidt, Warc, and Allison, to reassess their recommendations.
In an open letter signed by the Kissinger, they spill the beans about how AI could bring catastrophic consequences to the United States and the whole wide world. They’re so convinced about these prospects that they’re practically begging government leaders to take action as soon as possible.
They believe that AI is not just another chapter in the history of nuclear weapons. It’s way riskier than that! The potential dangers of AI might actually surpass those of nuclear weapons.
AI and nuclear weapons might have their similarities, but they also have some pretty major differences. So, we can’t just rely on the same old solutions that worked for nukes. We got to come up with something fresh and innovative.
All those proposals about pausing AI development, stopping it altogether, or having some global government body control it? They’re basically recycled ideas from the nuclear era that didn’t quite work out. Why? Because they require countries to give up their own sovereignty. And let’s face it, nobody wants to do that.
Here’s the reality check: there are only two superpowers in the AI game right now, and they’re the ones who can potentially minimize the risks. But here’s the kicker – the window for developing guidelines to prevent the most dangerous AI achievements and applications is closing fast. We’re talking a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of situation. So, it’s time to act.
Hence, President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping should seize the moment and initiate collaborative efforts to address the risks of AI, possibly convening a summit after the Asia-Pacific Cooperation meeting in November.
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