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How dependent is China on US artificial intelligence technology?

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The Biden administration intends to impose restrictions on US-developed artificial intelligence (AI) models, such as ChatGPT, which are used in popular chatbots, Reuters reported.
The aim is to safeguard this technology from countries like China and Russia. However, China has been making strides in its domestic generative AI industry over the past year and has been urging its companies to steer clear of foreign technology.
Accessibility of OpenAI’s AI Models in China
OpenAI’s primary AI services, like ChatGPT and DALL-E, have not been formally launched in mainland China due to undisclosed “local conditions,” according to an OpenAI spokesperson quoted by Reuters. Nonetheless, many companies and engineers in China have managed to access OpenAI’s services using proxy tools like virtual private networks (VPN) to conceal their network addresses. Consequently, numerous Chinese companies have developed software and applications based on OpenAI’s models, often using them for benchmarking purposes.
Although OpenAI has taken steps to restrict access to its services by Chinese companies, including suspending the account of ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, Chinese entities continue to find ways to leverage AI technology developed by Western companies. In Hong Kong, access to OpenAI’s AI models is also limited, but not entirely blocked. Despite OpenAI’s services being unavailable in the region, Microsoft, an investor and partner of OpenAI, has released Copilot, a generative AI service based on OpenAI’s latest technology, to the public. Through collaboration with Microsoft, companies in Hong Kong can gain access to OpenAI’s AI models.
Utilization of US Technology in China’s AI Models
While the US Commerce Department’s focus is primarily on controlling the export of proprietary AI models, China’s reliance on open-source models developed in the West remains significant. Chinese entities, including prestigious research labs and high-profile AI companies like 01.AI, have been found to use open-source AI models from companies such as Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook). Despite these dependencies, several Chinese tech companies, including Baidu, are actively working to develop proprietary AI models to reduce reliance on foreign technology.
Beijing’s Perspective on US AI Models
In line with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s directive to achieve technological self-sufficiency, Chinese authorities have emphasized the importance of developing “controllable” AI technology domestically. State-backed media outlets like China Daily have raised concerns about the potential risks associated with US generative AI technology, suggesting that it could be used for spreading disinformation and manipulating global narratives for geopolitical interests. The Chinese government has also implemented regulations on the use of generative AI, requiring government approvals for services before they can be released to the public.
Positive sentiments from the Chinese government towards US generative AI technology have primarily been framed in terms of acknowledging the gap between China and the US in AI development, rather than actively promoting US AI technology. Analogies like comparing ChatGPT’s superiority to Chinese AI products to Messi’s football prowess highlight the challenges China faces in catching up with the US in AI development.
Source: reuters.com

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AI should be trained to respect a regulatory ‘constitution’ says BofE policy maker

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Innovative AI models should be trained to respect a ‘constitution’ or a set of regulatory rules that would reduce the risk of harmful behaviour, argues a senior Bank of England policy maker.
In a speech at CityWeek in London, Randall Kroszner, an external member of the Bank of England’s financial policy committee, outlined the distinction between fundamentally disruptive versus more incremental innovation and the different regulatory challenges posed.
“When innovation is incremental it is easier for regulators to understand the consequences of their actions and to do a reasonable job of undertaking regulatory actions that align with achieving their financial stability goals,” he says.
However, in the case of AI, innovation comes thick and fast, and is more likely to be a disruptive force, making it “much more difficult for regulators to know what actions to take to achieve their financial stability goals and what the unintended consequences could be for both stability and for growth and innovation.”
Kroszner suggests that the central bank’s up-and-coming Digital Securities Sandbox, that will allow firms to use developing technology, such as distributed ledger technology, in the issuance, trading and settlement of securities such as shares and bonds, may no longer be an applicable tool for dealing with artifical intelligence technology.
“Fundamentally disruptive innovations – such as ChatGPT and subsequent AI tools – often involve the potential for extraordinarily rapid scaling that test the limits of regulatory tools,” he notes. “In such a circumstance, a sandbox approach may not be applicable, and policymakers may themselves need to innovate further in the face of disruptive change.”
He points to a recent speech by FPC colleague Jon Hall that highlighted the potential risks emerging from neural networks becoming what he referred to as ‘deep trading agents’ and the potential for their incentives to become misaligned with that of regulators and the public good. This, he argued, could help amplify shocks and reduce market stability.
One proposal to mitigate this risk was to train neural networks to respect a ‘constitution’ or a set of regulatory rules.
Kroszner suggests that the idea of a ‘constitution’ could be combined with, and tested in, a sandbox as way of shepherding new innovation in a way that supports financial stability.
“In the cases where fundamentally disruptive change scales so rapidly that a sandbox approach may not be applicable, a ‘constitutional’ approach may be the most appropriate one to take,” he says.
Source: finextra.com
 
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OpenAI apologizes to Johansson, denies voice based on her

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OpenAI chief Sam Altman apologized Tuesday to Scarlett Johansson after the movie star said she was “shocked” by a new synthetic voice released by the ChatGPT-maker, but he insisted the voice was not based on hers.
At issue is “Sky,” a voice OpenAI featured last week in the release of its more humanlike GPT-4o artificial intelligence technology.
In a demo, Sky was at times flirtatious and funny, seamlessly jumping from one topic to the next, unlike most existing chatbots.
The technology — and sound of the voice — quickly drew similarities to the Johansson-voiced AI character in the 2013 film “Her.”
Altman has previously pointed to the Spike Jonze-directed movie — a cautionary tale about the future in which a man falls in love with an AI chatbot — as inspiration for where he would like AI interactions to go.
He furthered speculation last week with a single-word post on X, formerly Twitter, saying “her.”
“The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers,” Altman said in a statement on Tuesday in a response to the controversy.
“We cast the voice actor behind Sky’s voice before any outreach to Ms. Johansson.
“Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have paused using Sky’s voice in our products. We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we didn’t communicate better.”
The statement came after Johansson on Monday expressed outrage, saying she was “shocked, angered, and in disbelief that Mr Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and news outlets couldn’t tell the difference.”
She said Altman had offered in September to hire her to work with OpenAI to create a synthetic voice, saying it might help people engaging with AI, but she declined.
Risk team disbanded
In a blogpost, the company explained that it began working to cast the voice actors in early 2023, “carefully considering the unique personality of each voice and their appeal to global audiences.”
Some of the characteristics sought were “a voice that feel timeless” and “an approachable voice that inspires trust,” the company said.
The five final actors were flown to San Francisco to record in June and July, it said, with their voices launched into ChatGPT last September.
“To protect their privacy, we cannot share the names of our voice talents,” OpenAI said.
“We believe that AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice.”
So far in the AI frenzy, most tech giants have been reluctant to overly humanize chatbots and some observers expressed concern that OpenAI’s demo last week had gone too far.
Microsoft Vice President Yusuf Mehdi cautioned that AI “should not be human.”
“It shouldn’t breathe. You should be able to…understand (it) is AI,” he told AFP.
The Johansson dispute came just days after OpenAI admitted it disbanded a team devoted to mitigating the long-term dangers of artificial intelligence.
OpenAI began dissolving the so-called “superalignment” group weeks ago, integrating members into other projects and research.
Source: france24.com
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India’s next big focus: Artificial Intelligence

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Have you heard about ChatGPT? It’s an AI software that has become quite famous. Chances are, if you’ve been reading stories online, it has been involved in some way.
In today’s fast-changing world, where AI plays a big role, India has a great opportunity to grow. Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Minister of State for the Ministry of Information and Technology, believes India is ready to boost its tech economy. The plan is to invest in both public and private capital flows into the digital space in the real economy space. Chandrashekhar highlights key areas of focus for the next 5-7 years: electronics and microelectronics, telecom, high-performance computing semiconductors, cybersecurity, the future of the internet, automotive and EVs.
Investing in Innovation: Fueling the IndiaAI Mission
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allocated $12 billion as seed capital into the research and innovation fund that will finance R&D and invest in the next wave of startups, including deep tech, AI, and other similar endeavors.
The government has recently approved over Rs 10,300 crore for the IndiaAI Mission, set to be invested over the next five years. This investment aims to drive various initiatives like building AI computing capacity, establishing innovation centers, creating datasets platforms, and supporting AI startups. The goal is to build cutting-edge AI computing infrastructure, benefiting from collaborations with over 10,000 GPUs.
Tailored Solutions for India: The IndiaAI Approach
India’s approach to AI is tailored to its specific needs. The IndiaAI mission aims to empower states like Kerala, which have untapped potential in the tech sector. By investing in such regions, the government hopes to unlock opportunities for young Indians and increase economic growth.
S Krishnan, secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), notes the importance of developing AI models specific to India. While foreign models like ChatGPT 4 can handle Indian languages, they may carry biases due to the data they’re trained on.
Safe & Secure India: Learning from Global Experiences
India’s stance on AI regulation is practical. By observing and learning from other countries’ experiences, India aims to develop effective regulations without hindering innovation. Krishnan also said that India might hold an advantage over other nations by entering AI regulations later, as it can study and learn from the mistakes made by other countries.
The MeitY secretary also raised concerns regarding the potential job losses due to AI. However, he pointed out that India might not be as heavily affected due to its substantial pool of engineers already familiar with the technology. Nonetheless, he underscored the necessity for significant efforts in retraining and upskilling. India’s prioritisation of technology, particularly AI, reflects its ambition to drive progress and prosperity in the digital age.
Source: ddnews.gov.in
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