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China rolls out large language model based on Xi Jinping Thought

China rolls out large language model based on Xi Jinping Thought
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China’s top internet regulator has rolled out a large language model (LLM) based on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s political philosophy, a closed AI system that it says is “secure and reliable”.

The machine learning language model was launched by the China Cyberspace Research Institute, which operates under the Cyberspace Administration of China, the national regulator.

The philosophy, along with other selected cyberspace themes that are aligned with the official government narrative, make up the core content of the LLM, according to a post published on Monday on the WeChat account of the administration’s magazine.

“The professionalism and authority of the corpus ensure the professional quality of the generated content,” the administration said in the post.

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According to the post, the model can meet “a wide range of users needs” and can answer questions, outline reports, summarise information, and translate between Chinese and English.

Unlike other systems, the LLM is built on a select knowledge base with locally generated data and is not open-sourced, meaning the model is “secure and reliable”, according to the administration.

Demonstrations offered in the post suggested the answers were sourced from a fixed pool of Chinese official documents and outlets.

For example, suggested questions for the application included the differences between traditional productive forces and new productive forces – a trending buzzword used by Beijing to handle recent economic challenges, or “outline a report on the current state of AI development”.

The system was “deployed exclusively on the servers of the China Cyberspace Research Institute, where all data is processed locally, ensuring a high level of security”, the post said, adding that it was based on pre-trained, government-approved language models.

The model was still undergoing internal testing and was not yet available for public use, but it was open to “designated users by invitation”, the administration said.

The limited launch comes as Beijing tries to use artificial intelligence to drive economic growth while maintaining strict regulatory control over cybersecurity.

In March, Premier Li Qiang introduced an initiative to integrate AI into traditional sectors to help improve technologies.

ChatGPT, from US firm OpenAI, was launched more than a year ago, but it is not accessible to users in China.

Many Chinese firms have rushed to launch their own versions of ChatGPT, but they are required to follow government regulatory controls and ensure their generated narrative is aligned with Beijing’s playbook.

The general office of the Communist Party’s decision-making Central Committee issued a national notice in February urging compulsory learning activities for all party members to better acquaint them with Xi Jinping Thought.

The notice also ordered party groups to encourage members to help the party further dominate China’s cyberspace to ensure “positive energy” remained the dominant trend in national internet traffic.

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