China Promotes Global AI Cooperation With New Shanghai Declaration

China is expanding global AI cooperation with a commitment to ensure AI safety, plus support for a UN center of excellence for industrial AI

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

July 8, 2024

3 Min Read
Chinese flag waving in front of Shanghai cityscape
Getty Images

The local government of Shanghai has issued the Shanghai Declaration on Global AI Governance, a five-point pledge to foster open AI development and international cooperation.

Announced during the opening ceremony of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, the declaration includes an agreement to actively promote AI research and development across various industries, including health care, transportation and agriculture. 

The declaration also covers AI safety, including a commitment to ensuring AI is not used to manipulate public opinion and generate disinformation.

It also includes a pledge to cooperate in the transfer of AI technologies in the "spirit of openness and shared benefit,” as well as a pledge to mitigate the impact of AI on employment.

"We look forward to the positive response of governments, the scientific and technological community, the industry and all parties involved so that we can work together to promote AI to benefit mankind,” said Chen Jining, party secretary for Shanghai.

During the opening ceremony, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said the country has attached importance to the security and governance of AI.

Upon the launch of the declaration, Li said China is willing to work with other countries to make AI better serve global developments.

Related:China Dominates Global Generative AI Patent Filings

The declaration expands China’s existing commitment to AI governance, including being among the nations backing the U.S.-led United Nations resolution on trustworthy AI and the Bletchley Declaration on AI Safety from last year’s AI Safety Summit.

UN Industrial AI Center of Excellence

Also unveiled during WAIC’s opening ceremony was the formation of a new United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) AI center of excellence covering the industry and manufacturing sectors.

The AIM Global program will look to foster responsible AI developments across industrial and manufacturing and ensure that developing countries have fair access to AI technologies and expertise, allowing them to benefit from emerging technologies.

“With our Global Alliance on AI for Industry and Manufacturing, UNIDO offers a bridge between industrialized countries, the private sector, academia and developing countries,” said Gerd Müller, UNIDO’s director general. “China is a superpower in industrialization, digitalization and a leader in AI. 

“With our new joint AIM Global Centre of Excellence in Shanghai, we will be able to increase our support to promote best practices and technology transfer to the Global South, so that those countries can benefit from the great potential of AI for development and contribute to bridging the global digital divide.”

Related:US Officials Warn China Over Potential AI Misuse

The new Center of Excellence is being supported by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Shanghai Municipal People's Government.

It will be located in the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, which Müller and a UNIDO delegation visited following the ceremony.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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