In China, internet companies are competing to create their own versions of services similar to ChatGPT, as the worldwide excitement surrounding conversational AI chatbots is growing. However, there are doubts about whether they will be able to match the achievements of their American competition.
ChatGPT, created by OpenAI based in San Francisco, is believed to transform internet searches by providing users with information through human-like interactions.
As reported by Forbes recently, five tech firms have declared that they are developing a tool similar to ChatGPT. It includes some big companies like Alibaba owned by Jack Ma and Baidu owned by Robin Li. Additionally, an Alibaba representative also confirmed that the company is currently undergoing internal tests on a ChatGPT-like bot. Meanwhile, Baidu has announced that it plans to launch its Ernie Bot in March.
The specifics of the new services have not been disclosed, but it is evident that these companies are taking advantage of the recent surge in interest in conversational AI technologies.
However, creating such an advanced bot is not going to easy, as mentioned by Ke Yan, head of research, DZT Research, Singapore. The laws in mainland China concerning data and privacy protection are still ‘unclear,’ which could result in concerns about what information can be used to train the algorithm or how the bots access and utilize data from copyrighted sources in responding to user inquiries. Ke states that the legal limits in China may not be established yet.
Furthermore, there’s a Chinese company that has recognised the challenges ahead, as stated by Forbes. In response to an investor question, 360 Security Technology stated that there is a ‘significant difference’ between its investment and technological capabilities compared to the latest version of ChatGPT. Its bot is currently intended as an internal tool only. The company emphasized in a separate filing with the stock exchange that its technology is a generation behind ChatGPT and there are ‘significant uncertainties’ in its actual use.
ChatGPT has attracted a $10 billion investment from Microsoft, leading to its integration into Microsoft’s search engine Bing, which is not yet accessible in China. Despite this, services to register OpenAI accounts are being offered on Alibaba’s Taobao platform for less than $0.74 each. One seller on Taobao has reportedly sold over 80 such accounts in the past month, according to a search on the platform.
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