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US Pushes China & Russia To Declare Only Humans, Not AI, Should Have Access To Nuclear Weapons

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On Thursday, a top US official pushed China and Russia to echo claims made by the US and other countries that only people, not artificial intelligence technology, would decide when to use nuclear weapons.

Paul Dean, an arms control official for the State Department, stated during an online briefing that Washington had made a “clear and strong commitment” that humans had complete control over nuclear weapons. France and Britain also did the same.

“We would welcome a similar statement by China and the Russian Federation,” said Dean, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Arms Control, Deterrence and Stability.

“We think it is an extremely important norm of responsible behaviour and we think it is something that would be very welcome in a P5 context,” he said, addressing the five members of the UN Security Council who are permanent members.

Dean’s comments coincide with efforts by US President Joe Biden’s administration to expand bilateral talks with China on the development of artificial intelligence and nuclear weapons policy.

During extensive negotiations between China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing on April 26, the topic of artificial intelligence technology diffusion came up. According to Blinken, the two parties have decided to have their first bilateral discussions on artificial intelligence in the upcoming weeks. They will also exchange ideas on how to best manage the dangers and safety associated with the technology.

In January, US and Chinese officials resumed discussions about nuclear weapons as part of normalizing military communications, although formal arms control negotiations are not anticipated anytime soon.

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