“Sam Altman Takes Global Stand for AI Regulation, Including China, with His Robust Advocacy Efforts”

OpenAI CEO Calls for U.S.-China Collaboration on AI

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, recently spoke at a conference hosted by the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence where he called for increased collaboration between the U.S. and China on AI development. Although Altman did not mention the fact that OpenAI’s products like ChatGPT are not available in China, his comments on global cooperation for AI development and safety raise some questions. In this article, we examine Altman’s statements and explore the topic of AI regulation.

The Stakes for Global Cooperation in AI Have Never Been Higher

In his keynote address at the conference, Altman emphasized the importance of global cooperation in managing the risks of increasingly powerful AI systems. He highlighted the need for China to play a key role in ensuring the safety of global AI development and rollout. Altman has been an advocate for AI regulation and has been meeting with policymakers around the world to influence the development of AI regulations. He has been seeking regulatory rules that would benefit OpenAI’s business interests.

Some have speculated that Altman’s call for collaboration with China is a result of Beijing’s serious approach to AI regulation. China has enacted rules on deepfakes and generative AI, for example, which may not pose immediate threats to companies like OpenAI.

U.S.-China AI Competition: Analytical Sound or Politically Successful?

Although there is talk of a U.S.-China “AI arms race,” analysis shows that Chinese companies lag their American peers in advanced AI like large language models by years, not months. Despite this data, U.S. lawmakers frequently invoke the perception that China is on the brink of usurping American AI leadership to argue against regulation. However, even analysts recognize that “regulation is the area where the United States most risks falling behind in AI.”

Regulation is Critical to Mitigating the Risks of AI

Altman testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee last month and explained OpenAI’s internal and self-imposed safety assessment practices. He went on to say that “regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models.” Although he did not specify which government or governments he hoped would take the lead, he claimed to be interested in international standards. It is unclear whether Altman’s appeals to China’s AI community are part of a strategy to influence global regulation or whether it is a more self-serving effort to poach China’s AI talent or gain access to the Chinese market.

Biden Administration Focused on Cooperation with U.S. Allies

The Biden Administration has expressed its commitment to cooperate with U.S. allies on AI development and regulation. Last month’s G7 gathering featured discussions on values-based technological coordination, and a more recent meeting in Sweden between the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, explained the reasoning behind transatlantic technology cooperation, including developing AI standards.

The Debate on AI Regulation

The discussion on AI regulation is complex and political. While some lawmakers advocate for stronger consumer protections and clear industry standards, others are hesitant to support regulation that could hinder U.S. innovation or competitiveness with China. Altman and others will continue to speak to policymakers around the world to influence regulation to align with their companies’ bottom lines.


AI development and regulation are complex issues that involve global cooperation. Although Sam Altman called for U.S.-China collaboration on AI development and safety, some have criticized his comments as being more self-serving than altruistic. As policymakers work to develop AI regulations, companies like OpenAI will continue to advocate for rules that benefit their interests. The challenges of AI regulation require thoughtful and balanced consideration to ensure that this emerging technology serves society’s best interests.

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