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Chat GPT: Can China defeat America in the world of artificial intelligence?

What does China benefit from?

By Haseeb SultanPublished 4 months ago 5 min read
Chat GPT: Can China defeat America in the world of artificial intelligence?
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Artificial intelligence or artificial intelligence has become such an important topic that it was discussed at the G7 summit at the end of last week, where it was brought under discussion despite a busy agenda.

Concerns about the damaging effects of artificial intelligence are part of America's efforts to restrict China's access to important technologies. Currently, it seems that America is ahead in the race for artificial intelligence, and there is a possibility that restrictions on China's semiconductor exports can hinder Beijing's progress in the world of technology.

However, according to analysts, China can still catch up in this race because it takes years for any product involving artificial intelligence to become complete. Kendra Schaefer, the head of AI policy research at Trivium China, told the BBC that Chinese internet companies are more advanced than American internet companies, but it depends on how you measure progress.

She says that according to an estimate, China is 10 to 15 years behind leaders in this field in other countries in terms of the ability to create high-level infrastructure and components.

Silicon Valley

The biggest advantage for America is Silicon Valley, which is the world's largest business center. Big names in technology like Google, Apple, and Intel started from there and have helped shape the modern way of life.

Pascal Feng, director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, says that those who have a desire for innovation in the country have benefited from its unique research culture.

Feng says that researchers often work for years to improve technology without having a specific product in mind. For example, OpenAI worked as a non-profit company for years and during its research, it focused on transformer machine learning models, which eventually helped in the creation of ChatGPT.

She says, "There was no such environment in Chinese companies, but after seeing the popularity of this system, they will build such models to learn it, and it is a fundamental challenge for those working on artificial intelligence in China."

American investors have also supported increasing research in the country. In 2019, Microsoft announced that it would invest a billion dollars in OpenAI.

Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, said, "Artificial intelligence has the potential to assist in resolving many significant problems in our society and is one of the technologies that has brought about the biggest change in our time”.

What does China benefit from?

China has a very large number of consumers of Chinese products, and it is also benefiting from it. It is the second most populous country in the world, with nearly 1.4 billion people.

Adit Jain, a partner at the investment firm Rcapita, says that the rapidly growing sector of the Internet is also included in it. For example, almost everyone in the country uses super apps like WeChat. They use it not only to send text messages but also to make appointments with doctors and pay taxes.

As a result, a treasure trove of information is available that can be used to improve products. Young says that an artificial intelligence model will only be as good as the data available to learn from.

She further states, "Now, whether you consider it good or bad, there are very few privacy principles in China, and there is (compared to America) a lot more data. For example, CCTV is already using facial recognition. Imagine how beneficial it will be for images generated by artificial intelligence."

Kai-Fu Lee in his book "AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order" states that China has surpassed Silicon Valley in some areas of artificial intelligence. However, the book was published before the GPT-3 model was developed.

For example, there are questions about whether sensor chips manufactured in China will affect the development of AI chatbots. Will they be able to answer sensitive questions about President Xi Jinping? Yang says, "I don't think there will be any controversial questions asked in China. They know it's a sensitive topic. Sensitive topics are a small part of the use of chatbots. However, they receive more attention in the media."

The biggest concern is that American efforts to limit China's access to proprietary technology could hinder the development of China's AI industry. The high performance computer chips or semiconductors that demonstrate the best performance are causing a lot of tension between Washington and Beijing. They are used in everyday products, including laptops and smartphones, and can have military applications. They are also important for the hardware needed to learn artificial intelligence.

Feng says that currently, companies like NVIDIA are leading the way in producing AI chips in the United States, and due to export restrictions, only a few Chinese companies can compete with chat GPT.

She adds that although it will harm industries with cutting-edge technology like China's latest AI, it will not affect the production of consumer technology such as mobile phones and laptops. This is because "controls have been put in place to prevent China from creating advanced AI for military purposes."

Feng says that China needs to control it through its own silicon industry, a research culture that attracts diverse talents. She further states that so far, her focus has been on both domestic qualifications and Chinese heritage individuals living abroad, but the cultural mindset remains limited.

Beijing has also introduced the concept of a "Big Fund," which provides significant incentives to small companies, but it has also strengthened its grip on the sector.

Zhao Weiguo became a technology icon in March, but he was accused of irregularities by the authorities.

Financial incentives from Beijing can benefit certain industries and relax restrictions, but it can also mean increased scrutiny, fear, and uncertainty.

She adds that Zhao's arrest is a message to other government officials: "Do not mess with state funds, especially in the chip industry."

She says, "Now it's time to get to work."

It remains to be seen how this message will affect the future of China's AI industry.

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