China has done a lot of planning, research in AI chatbots, but more work needed: minister
Published: Mar 05, 2023 08:55 PM
AI Photo: VCG

AI Photo: VCG

Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said on Sunday that China has done a lot of planning and research in areas related to artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, but there may still be a lot of work to be done to achieve similar effect of OpenAI, the developer of the ChatGPT.

During a media event on the sidelines of the two sessions in Beijing, Wang compared the development of the trending ChatGPT-style bots to playing football during the ongoing two sessions on Sunday, saying "it is all about dribbling and shooting, but it is not easy to be as good as Messi."

"It is hoped that domestic and foreign enterprises can achieve more good results in the field of AI. At the same time, we must also pay attention to standardizing the ethics of science and technology, seeking advantages and avoiding disadvantages," Wang said. 

Wang explained that from the source of the technology itself, ChatGPT is about Natural Language Processing and Natural Language Understanding, which have been studied for many years. The reason why ChatGPT has attracted attention is that it is a large model that has effectively combined big data, big computing power and strong algorithms. Its calculation methods have improved.

The fundamental technologies are the same - for example, everyone can make an engine, but the quality is different; football playing is all about dribbling and shooting, but it's not easy to be good as Messi, Wang said. 

"From this point of view, ChatGPT is very difficult in terms of technological progress, especially in terms of ensuring the real-time performance of the algorithm and the effectiveness of the algorithm quality," Wang said. "We can understand people's natural language and conduct dialogue through computing, but it is not easy to achieve real-time effects. OpenAI has its advantages in this regard."

"I hope that universities, research institutions and enterprises engaged in AI research and transformation can make better progress and development, and make Chinese contributions to the promotion of AI development and the international community," said the minister.

During the two sessions, China's biggest annual political gathering, technology industry executives also discussed the need to nurture a domestic answer to ChatGPT-style bots.

Zhou Hongyi, founder and chairman of 360 Security Technology and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body, submitted a proposal on developing AI large models - the algorithms used to train ChatGPT-like generative products.

China should catch up, Zhou said in the proposal, calling for efforts in creating domestic versions like OpenAI and its backer Microsoft to lead large-scale model technology breakthroughs through cooperation between large tech firms and key research institutions.

Global Times