0 karmaJoined Mar 2023


Hard disagree on the reasoning behind why China might not pursue AGI. China seems to me, after almost a decade there, no more concerned about global X-risks than any other country. Just it is quite profitable for the leadership to signal that they are. Chinese Govt. signaling that they wish for safe AGI is just a case of sour grapes - they are nowhere near deploying anything significant, so it is completely costless for them to say that they are restrained. In actuality, they spent decades trying to build up their own semiconductor industry, unsuccessfully, and if they were closer to AGI, they would instead say "China will be the one to lead the world into a prosperous, AGI-filled future". The mindset of "China is older and wiser" is not just something that they propagate, but also something that they want others to think, and somewhat a remnant of orientalism. Their government, companies, and people are under the same pressures as any other, and just because they are far from us does not make them that drastically different as to be able to leave the rat race towards AGI. For the record, I do not think "The USA is the only one capable of long-term thinking", I think no one is. I think the USA has slightly better-set incentives and checks and balances to stop some % of the catastrophes that would (and do) happen in China, but I do not feel like the US is a benevolent power.

China is also equally imperialistic, expansionist, and aggressive - ask anyone living in a developing country that was under an attempt of being overtaken by China. Just because you do not see their imperialism, because it is not spoken, or because there are incentives in place to silence academics writing about it, does not mean that they have no such tendencies. They just did not succeed in their expansionism and imperialism, but again, sour grapes - "yes, we absolutely do not want to expand" is a consolation award that China gets to say.

I do however think that they are not likely to be a threat and that they are quite behind on AI development and unlikely to catch up quickly, especially if US sanctions persist or expand.