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May 23, 2024

China Unveils AI Model Based on Xi Jinping’s Philosophy to Rival ChatGPT

China has introduced a groundbreaking large language model (LLM) rooted in President Xi Jinping’s political philosophy, positioning it as a “secure and reliable” AI system. This model, developed by the China Cyberspace Research Institute under the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), integrates Xi Jinping’s ideological framework along with other state-sanctioned themes. This move aims to balance the country’s stringent free speech regulations with its aspirations to lead in artificial intelligence (AI) innovation.

Embedding Xi Jinping’s Thought into AI

The newly launched AI model is deeply infused with “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” which was enshrined in China’s constitution in 2018. This ideology addresses various facets of China’s political, social, and economic landscape. According to the Financial Times, the LLM is versatile, capable of answering questions, generating reports, summarizing information, and translating between Chinese and English.

Distinct from other AI systems, this model relies on a curated knowledge base comprising locally generated data and is not open-sourced, enhancing its “security and reliability.” Demonstrations have shown that the model’s responses are drawn from a fixed pool of official Chinese documents and sources, ensuring that the content aligns with the government’s narratives.

Security and Controlled Release

Hosted exclusively on the servers of the China Cyberspace Research Institute, the LLM processes all data locally, prioritizing security. It is built on pre-trained, government-approved language models and is currently in internal testing. Access is restricted to “designated users by invitation,” reflecting Beijing’s cautious approach to AI deployment.

This controlled release strategy is part of a broader effort to harness AI for economic growth while maintaining strict cybersecurity and information control. Premier Li Qiang’s March initiative to integrate AI into traditional sectors underscores China’s commitment to advancing AI under strict regulatory oversight.

Promoting Party Ideology

In February, the Communist Party’s Central Committee mandated that all party members study Xi Jinping’s thoughts, aiming to strengthen the Party’s control over cyberspace and promote “positive energy” online. This directive underscores the broader context within which the new LLM operates, as Beijing seeks to ensure that AI development does not deviate from the Party’s ideological framework.

Support for Developers

To support AI developers, the Cyber Security Association of China, a non-profit organization aligned with the CAC, released the first public database containing 100 million entries of “high-quality and trustworthy data” for model training. Among these entries, one document includes 86,314 mentions of Xi Jinping, emphasizing the importance of aligning with the Party’s central committee and its leadership.

Future Prospects

While the wider release of this LLM remains uncertain, its current development highlights the Chinese government’s commitment to embedding Xi Jinping’s ideology in AI. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) noted that this model is part of Beijing’s broader strategy to control AI narratives within China. The CAC has emphasized the model’s professionalism and authoritative content, aiming to balance AI advancement with stringent oversight of speech and information.

In conclusion, China’s launch of an AI model based on Xi Jinping’s political philosophy represents a significant step in the country’s AI ambitions. By intertwining AI development with the Party’s ideological tenets, China aims to create a secure and reliable AI ecosystem that adheres strictly to its regulatory and ideological guidelines. This approach not only counters the influence of platforms like OpenAI’s ChatGPT but also reinforces the Party’s dominance in the digital space.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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