China Proposes Generative AI Model Licensing, Highlighting Debate on Control and Innovation

In this post:

  • China’s proposed licensing of generative AI models reflects its ambition to lead in AI while maintaining control over the technology.
  • Balancing control and innovation poses challenges for the Chinese government in regulating AI.
  • The global AI regulation landscape includes various approaches, such as licensing, registration, and friendly stances towards AI training data.

China’s Cyberspace Administration has put forth a new draft AI law that suggests the requirement of generative AI model licensing for companies before they release their products. This move by China reflects the ongoing global discussions surrounding AI regulation, with different countries and experts offering their perspectives. The proposed licensing system reveals China’s ambition to be an AI leader while also aiming to maintain control over the technology. However, striking a balance between control and innovation poses challenges for the Chinese government.

China’s shift toward generative AI model licensing

Previously, China’s draft AI law mandated the registration of AI models within 10 working days after their launch. However, the new proposal emphasizes the need for obtaining prior approval from authorities before launching generative AI models. This shift in approach signifies an intriguing aspect of the internal debate within the Chinese government.

China recognizes the increasing unpredictability associated with generative AI models. These models have the potential to generate content that may be challenging to control effectively. There is a worry in Beijing that content control mechanisms could be circumvented by generating false information or “hallucinations.” Additionally, censoring training data, which forms the foundation of AI models, poses significant challenges. Chinese regulators are concerned about maintaining control and censorship at such a granular level.

The balancing act

China’s draft law highlights the country’s desire to shape AI by its socialist values. However, reconciling the implementation of socialist values with the need to foster innovation raises complex questions. Chinese companies, such as Baidu and Alibaba, have released generative AI models cautiously, displaying more conservative approaches than even the safety precautions implemented in models like ChatGPT.

The Cyberspace Administration of China has stressed that AI should be “reliable and controllable.” However, ensuring such control without stifling innovation remains an open question. China aims to strike a delicate balance by encouraging innovation while asserting technological control.

The global AI regulation landscape

China’s proposal is part of a broader global conversation on AI regulation. Figures like Sam Altman have advocated licensing powerful AI models, citing concerns about their potential to manipulate or influence individuals. In contrast, the European Union’s AI Act suggests a registration system without going as far as implementing a licensing regime. On the other hand, Japan has taken a friendly stance by declaring that copyright does not apply to AI training data.

China’s new draft AI law, proposing the licensing of generative AI models, sheds light on the ongoing debate about controlling AI while fostering innovation. The move reflects China’s ambition to become a leader in AI technology. However, the challenge lies in striking a balance between control and innovation, given the unpredictable nature of generative AI models and the difficulties associated with content control and censorship. The proposal adds to the growing discourse on global AI regulation, with different countries exploring various approaches to address the societal impact of AI.

Investment has poured into China’s generative AI scene and its firms such as Baidu, Alibaba Group have launched dozens of AI models. But companies had held back from rolling out chatbots to the public until Beijing finalized rules for the technology and approved their products. Most of the Chinese tech companies had for now focused on finding applications for industrial use. On Thursday, JD.com became the latest to join the race, launching an enterprise-facing large language model called ChatRhino sending the positive signal that the regulators are paving the way for companies in China to launch their products on a large scale.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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