China is stepping up approvals for the public release of artificial intelligence (AI) models, as it rushes to catch up with the US in the technology’s development.
The world’s second-largest economy approved more than 40 AI models for public over the past six months, state-backed Chinese media reported.
Of those, regulators granted approvals to a total of 14 large language models (LLM) for public use just last week, the Securities Times reported.
The approvals come as China pushes to become a world leader in the field of AI by 2030.
At the same time, Beijing wants to keep the game-changing technology under its purview and control. Last August, Chinese regulators started requiring tech companies to obtain approvals to open their LLMs to the public.
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The first batch of AI models were approved that same month, shortly after the process was adopted. Baidu, Alibaba and ByteDance were among China’s first companies to receive approvals.
Beijing then granted two more batches of approvals in November and December before another batch was given the green light this month.
While the government has not disclosed the exact list of approved companies available for public checks, Securities Times said on Sunday more than 40 AI models have been approved.
Other recipients include SenseTime, Xiaomi Corp, 4Paradigm and the startup 01.AI.
Chinese companies have been rushing to develop AI products ever since OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT took the world by storm in 2022.
At the time, China had 130 LLMs, accounting for 40% of the global total and just behind the United States’ 50% share, according to brokerage CLSA.
One of China’s leading ChatGPT-like chatbots, Baidu’s Ernie Bot, has garnered more than 100 million users, the company’s CTO said in December.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena