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Can Xi Jinping control AI without smashing it?

Ipast For more than a month, China’s tech giants have been showing off. Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei, and Shangtang Technology are all shining in artificial intelligence (artificial intelligence) models that can power products and applications such as image generators, voice assistants, and search engines.Some have introduced artificial intelligence– Chatbot similar to Chatcommon technology, a human-like interlocutor developed in the United States dazzles users. The names of the new products include Ernie Bot (Baidu), SenseChat (Shangtang Technology) and Tongyi Qianwen (Alibaba). The latter roughly translates to “truth from a thousand questions”. But in China, the Communist Party defines truth.

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artificial intelligence challenge to China’s rulers. The “Generation” category, which processes inputs of text, images, audio, or video to create new outputs of the same, holds great promise.Chinese tech firms, hit hard by regulatory crackdowns and sluggish sales in recent years, are hoping to generate artificial intelligence Huge new revenue streams could be created, similar to the opportunities created by the advent of the internet or smartphones.

However, the party believes that the generated artificial intelligence Opening up vast new avenues for the dissemination of information beyond its control. Its leaders may draw different comparisons to the internet, which seems destined to help democratize China by increasing access to unfiltered news and communication tools. “Pin Jell-O to the wall” was how Bill Clinton described the party’s attempts to control the Internet in 2000. Yet by deploying armies of censorship and digital roadblocks, the party has largely succeeded in creating an internet that serves its own purposes and fostering an industry around it.something like this can happen artificial intelligence?

The rules, proposed by China’s internet watchdog on April 11, signal the government’s concerns. According to the State Internet Information Office (CAAC), companies should submit a security assessment to the state before using generative technologies artificial intelligence Products that serve the public. Company will be responsible for the content generated by such tools. According to regulations, the content must not subvert state power, incite secession, damage national unity, or disrupt economic and social order. And it must be consistent with the country’s socialist values. These restrictions may sound arcane, but similar rules apply to the internet, allowing the CCP to suppress speech on everything from Uyghur rights to democracy, feminism and gay literature.

China’s proposal comes as governments around the world grapple with how to regulate artificial intelligence. Some countries, such as the United States, favor a lighter touch, relying on existing laws to regulate the technology. Others argue that new regulatory regimes are needed.this European Union Proposes a law classifying different uses artificial intelligence And apply increasingly stringent requirements according to the degree of risk. China’s approach appears more fragmented and reactionary. Last year, for example, the party issued new rules on the technology, concerned that “deepfake” images and videos could undermine a tightly controlled information environment.A ban artificial intelligence– Generated media without explicit source labeling.

There are similarities to how China treats the Internet. Its network controls, often called “The Great Firewall,” may seem singular. But keeping “harmful” foreign content out is just part of a much more layered effort that has developed over time and involves many agencies and companies. Matt Sheehan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank, said the first phase was laying the groundwork for an internet that the party could control.Today, the Chinese government is once again beefing up its bureaucracy and adding to its regulatory toolkit, this time generatively artificial intelligence heart. Mandatory security reviews and requiring companies to register their algorithms with the state are examples of this, Mr Sheehan said.

China’s grip on the internet hasn’t stifled innovation: Just look at companies like ByteDance, the Chinese parent of the popular short-video app TikTok.But when it comes to generating artificial intelligenceIt’s hard to see how a Chinese company could create something as broad and human-like (i.e. unpredictable) as Chatcommon technology Also comply with government regulations.

this CAAC Said the information generated by such tools must be “true and accurate” and the data used to train them must be “objective”. The party has its own definitions of these words.But even the most advanced artificial intelligence Tools based on large language models occasionally spit out things that aren’t actually real.For products like Chatcommon technology, which is based on hundreds of gigabytes of data extracted from all over the Internet, it is almost impossible to classify the input according to its objectivity.Strict enforcement of China’s rules will all but stop the development of generative technologies artificial intelligence in China.

Therefore, experts doubt that the measures will be strictly enforced. There is modest leeway in the bill. When the generated content does not comply with the rules, the government requires “filtering and other measures” and “optimization training within three months.” It sounds similar to tweaks Western companies are making to their models, for example, to stop their chatbots from spouting homophobic content.Local artificial intelligence Shanghai has more lenient rules, stipulating that minor violations may go unpunished at all.

the arbitrary nature of CAACThe proposed rules mean it can tighten or relax them as it sees fit. Other countries may recognize this flexibility. But as the big internet companies can attest, the Chinese government has a habit of rewriting and selectively enforcing rules at the whim of President Xi Jinping. In recent years, companies in fields such as e-commerce, social media and video games have had to rethink their business models. In 2021, for example, state media dubbed video games a “spiritual opiate”: Regulators demanded that game companies stop focusing on the bottom line and reduce children’s desire to play.If Mr. Xi doesn’t like generating artificial intelligence Go, he can reset that industry too.

One-way Chinese artificial intelligence Companies may be hindered by limiting the personal data that can be used to train them artificial intelligence role model. The party runs the most sophisticated mass-surveillance state in the world. Until recently, Chinese tech companies were able to collect personal data. But this freewheeling era appears to be coming to an end (for the private sector). Now, in theory, companies that want to use certain types of personal data must obtain consent.last year CAAC Fined the ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing equivalent to $1.2 billion for illegally collecting and mishandling user data.under the draft rules artificial intelligencethe company will be responsible for protecting the personal information of users.

New Jelly, New Nails

this CAACThe proposed regulations come six years after a master plan was drawn up in China artificial intelligence Calls for a “major breakthrough” by 2025 to dominate the industry by 2030. Progress on these goals has been mixed.Chinese enterprises in the following fields artificial intelligence– Assisted image recognition and autonomous driving, two areas that do not have to worry about the government’s concern for social stability, performed well. They benefit from substantial public funding—indeed, some provide the tools to support state repression.

But China still lags behind the United States in investment and innovation. U.S. sanctions have discouraged foreign investors. To make matters worse, the United States has restricted exports to China of the type of cutting-edge semiconductors that power energy. artificial intelligencea move that could hamper the industry.

On the regulatory front, China may have more success.Under its master plan, China will write a code of ethics for the world artificial intelligence by 2030.This is an extension, but it is useful for generating rules artificial intelligence More detailed and broader than suggested elsewhere, thereby influencing the debate on dealing with new technologies. If China quickly enacts new regulations, other countries will learn. One risk is that it becomes overpowering and hinders innovation. But Jeffrey Ding of George Washington University points out the other side of the debate. He noted the ingenuity of Chinese internet companies and said obstacles can sometimes spark innovation.

Nonetheless, China may be involved in artificial intelligence Morality should terrify Western governments. They may have some of the same concerns as China, including misinformation and data protection, but for different reasons. Likewise, China’s experience with the Internet is beneficial. It firmly rejects the notion of the Internet as a free and open place. When governments meet to discuss online regulation, China has consistently sided with Russia and other free-speech abusers. Mr. Clinton naively believes that the Communist Party cannot bring the Internet to its knees. It would be naive for Western leaders to think it cannot do the same with China. artificial intelligence.

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