In the evolving race for AI dominance, China set ambitious goals to become the global AI leader by 2030. However, the emergence of ChatGPT by OpenAI in late 2022 has become a game-changer, capturing the attention of Chinese social media in 2023. China, with a decade-long focus on AI in its society and digital culture, has implemented AI applications in various sectors, from education to public security.
Despite AI advancements in China, they faced challenges in developing its own ChatGPT alternative. Some attributed this lag to the fast application focus of Chinese tech startups, while others pointed to the complexity of language model training. Many, however, acknowledged the impact of political sensitivities and censorship in the tightly monitored Chinese online environment, posing challenges for developing platforms like ChatGPT.
In response to the rise of generative AI, Chinese authorities introduced rules mandating alignment with “core values of socialism” and preventing content that undermines state authority or spreads false information. These regulations created obstacles for Chinese AI companies, limiting their ability to compete with ChatGPT and navigate state-imposed restrictions.
Despite these challenges, China’s AI revolution continues to gain momentum. AI-powered technologies permeate all layers of Chinese society, influencing everything from social media to e-commerce.Businesses leverage AI technology, including deepfake influencers have become a significant trend, offering unprecedented opportunities for small entrepreneurs. Additionally, AI contributes to rural economic development, as seen in Baidu’s initiative to help farmers sell products through virtual livestreamers.
The contrasting approaches of the US and China to AI development reflect deeper societal values. China emphasises a balance between economic growth and political stability, with a focus on cyber sovereignty and collective support. In contrast, the West emphasises individualism, personal autonomy, decentralisation, and globalisation leading to different debates on balancing individual rights and societal interests.
As the world navigates the AI landscape, it becomes clear that the competitive thinking should shift towards learning from each other’s approaches rather than emphasising geopolitical implications. by highlighting the need for a nuanced understanding of the distinct paths of the “eagle” (US) and the “dragon” (China) in their respective AI races.
As the year 2023 did not unfold as anticipated globally, the political developments in the UK, US, ongoing global challenges, and the climate crisis. It ends on a note of hope for the new year, we are emphasising the importance of pursuing the truth globally and the need for financial contributions to sustain this mission.