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China lags in AI race amid lack of advanced chips, regulations

12:44 AM Dec 11, 2023 IST | IANS
china lags in ai race amid lack of advanced chips  regulations
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New Delhi, Dec 10: China is still playing catch-up with the US when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), as it faces lack of access to advanced chips amid strict regulation, the media reported.

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The arrival of ChatGPT -- and a barrage of AL models from US-based tech giants later like Bard, Gemini and LLaMA -- forced Chinese tech companies to develop their own large language models (LLMs) but they are lagging behind, reports the South China Morning Post.

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Baidu developed Ernie Bot and Alibaba Group built its own LLM called Tongyi Qianwen.

However, the AI field is still led by US companies.

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“The country’s crowded market of more than 100 LLMs is constrained by lack of access to advanced chips, strict regulation, censorship of sensitive topics, high development costs and fragmented markets

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for the technology,” the report mentioned. The biggest challenge is lack of access to cutting-edge graphics processing units (GPUs) from companies like Nvidia owing to US trade sanctions.

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The US government has updated its export control rules to block China’s access to advanced chips such as Nvidia’s H100 and A100 on national security grounds.

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“China faces multiple challenges in developing LLMs as technology gaps widen with the West due to the advent of GPT and Google’s Gemini,” Su Lian Jye, a chief analyst with research company Omdia, was quoted as saying.

“Limits on computing power due to chip bans, and the limited quality of data from the Mandarin-based internet compared to the English-speaking world, can also be setbacks,” Jye added.

OpenAI’s GPT, Google’s Gemini as well as its AI chatbot Bard are not directly available in China due to strict regulations.

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