For seven hours at a Geneva hotel earlier this month, top U.S. and Chinese officials locked into talks on collectively managing their biggest fears around artificial intelligence — while keeping up a cutthroat competition to dominate technology that promises to reshape the global economy.

Their meeting marked the first government discussions on AI between the U.S. and China, with roughly nine officials from each side stressing a shared desire to prevent nightmare scenarios like a computer-triggered nuclear war.

One ironic deviation from the script: The coffee machine at the venue broke as they discussed far more advanced technology.