Point of No Return

Language bots have taken the world by storm this winter. Chinese companies have been world leaders in the development and commercialization of artificial intelligence. Now they can be left behind.

Chinese authorities have been clear since 2015 that the country will become a major power in artificial intelligence. The owner of the controversial video app Tiktok used advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to process huge amounts of data six years ago.

– More Advanced in China

The language bots that have been launched recently, including ChatGPT and the integration of similar technology into Microsoft’s Bing search service, are not available to users in China. The authorities have kept Western online services banned from the local market for over 20 years.

The ChatGPT service is like a personal assistant. It collects and processes volumes of data, similar to a search robot, but provides answers that are more relevant than having to scroll through search results. It can also take over work tasks and write simple computer programs.

– Artificial intelligence technology is more advanced in China than it is in the US. I think ChatGPT can even out the differences, with help from Microsoft, says director Dan Ives at brokerage Wedbush Securities to Nikkei Asia.

Microsoft will invest several hundred billion kroner in OpenAI, which is the owner company behind ChatGPT, in the next few years. This would give Seattle companies a nearly 50 percent ownership stake in OpenAI, according to media reports.

– The fact that OpenAI has broken the artificial intelligence formula, and that Microsoft has bought half, has accelerated the race both in the US, as well as globally and in China. Ultimately, this will put more pressure on Chinese players to improve their artificial intelligence algorithms, says Ives to the Japanese business newspaper.

Stock Market Rally

While Western companies such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft and other Western companies that provide online services are banned from China, Chinese companies have offered alternative products and grown large in the local market.

Baidu is China’s answer to Google and many of the same products, including search, map services, music and online shopping. Now the company promises to have a language robot ready and will let users use artificial intelligence together with the products as early as March.

Baidu has risen by almost 50 percent since November on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The share price of 360 Security Technology, which will “soon” have a ChatGPT-like robot ready, has risen by 60 percent since the New Year.

“We see somewhat irrational events in the business world. The stock market has, in effect, had a fit, hunting down any company that has even the slightest connection to artificial intelligence or bots,” writes MIT Technology Review.

How is the text that ChatGPT produces generated?

This is how ChatGPT answers the question:

ChatGPT generates text using a technique called Transformative Pre-training. This means that the model is trained on large amounts of text data by learning to predict the next word in a sentence based on the previous words. This means that the model learns to understand the language’s structure and context, and thus generates text that is relevant and meaningful.

When the model is to generate text, you give it a starting sentence or a task to perform, and the model uses what it has learned during the training process to generate text that answers the task or completes the sentence. The model uses a technique called beam search, which means that it generates several possible sentences and selects the one with the highest probability based on what it has learned during the training process.

It is important to note that the model has no self-awareness and cannot reflect on its own text generation, it can only base itself on the data it has seen during the training process.

Secoo, which sells luxury goods in China, rose more than 120 percent in one day earlier in February. The reason was that the company said it was “considering” using artificial intelligence. The same has happened with other companies.

– It seems that there is a speculative element to the latest stock market rally, says investment director for Asian shares at Abrdn PLC (formerly Standard Life Aberdeen), Christina Woon, to Bloomberg.

Poker Game

The ongoing technology conflict between the US and China could make it more difficult for Chinese companies to develop and mass-produce the most advanced computer processors. Artificial intelligence relies on data chips to commercialize and scale the services.

Chinese companies have been hoarding computer chips in recent years and have relatively large stocks, but it is hardly enough.

– I think this poker game will be about computer chips. It is the real joker and could ultimately slow down the development of artificial intelligence in China, says Ives to Nikkei Asia.

The USA has introduced export controls on, among other things, the A100 and H100 computer chips from the graphics manufacturer Nvidia to China. This will place limitations on training advanced language models using artificial intelligence.

The Chinese authorities are in the process of preparing a support package worth NOK 1,500 billion to facilitate investments in advanced computer chip production. Chinese companies are not allowed to buy the most advanced production equipment from America’s allies.

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