NEW DELHI: 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.
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.
Baidu developed Ernie Bot and Alibaba Group built its own LLM called Tongyi Qianwen.
However, the AI field is still led by US companies.
“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 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.
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.
“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.