In a bid to accelerate the widespread integration of artificial intelligence (AI) across various sectors, China has recently approved 14 large language models (LLMs) and enterprise applications for commercial use. The move is part of China’s ongoing efforts to catch up with the United States in AI development and ensure regulatory control over the rapidly advancing technology.
The approved batch includes several industry-specific LLMs, signaling a strategic shift towards tailoring AI solutions for specific sectors rather than relying solely on general AI models. Notable recipients of the approvals include smartphone giant Xiaomi, AI specialist Beijing Fourth Paradigm Technology Co, and tech unicorn 01.AI, founded by venture capitalist Lee Kai-fu.
This significant development comes on the heels of China’s push to boost efficiency in enterprises through AI development and regulation. The new LLMs are expected to play a pivotal role in driving innovation and enhancing productivity in diverse industries.
Among the approved LLMs are those from start-up Frontis.AI, founded by former JD.com senior vice-president Zhou Bowen. Frontis.AI’s “Pinshang” and “Moxiaoxian” LLMs aim to provide consumer product companies with valuable industry insights and support for product and marketing innovation. The company envisions offering more customized services to its enterprise clients, emphasizing the practical applications of AI in business strategies.
Cybersecurity firm ThreatBook and video solutions provider XinYi Tech also secured approvals for their industry-specific LLMs. ThreatBook’s XGPT AI model is the first LLM in China focused on internet security, offering enterprises timely and accurate analysis of potential security threats. XinYi Tech’s LLM, a pioneering solution in the domestic industry, focuses on AI-powered video-generating and processing tools for applications in advertising, education, media, and e-commerce.
In addition to these industry-specific innovations, China’s recent AI approvals encompass a range of applications, including an intelligent resume-polishing tool from online recruitment platform Zhaopin and chatbots from e-commerce services firm Beijing Zhidemai Tech and mobile-books-magazine-and-comics provider iReader Technology.
China’s regulatory push for AI approval gained momentum last August when the government allowed the release of generative AI services to the public. The establishment of the China Electronic Standardisation Institute further underscored the commitment to implementing national standards for LLMs.
While the total number of government-approved LLMs and related applications in China now exceeds 40, industry leaders like Robin Li Yanhong, founder and CEO of Baidu, have expressed concerns about the potential waste of resources in the frenzy over LLMs. Li urged the government to focus on fostering application development initiatives that would bring more practical services, akin to ChatGPT, to the market.
China’s dynamic AI landscape continues to evolve rapidly, with these recent approvals signaling a strategic shift towards specialized AI solutions tailored for specific industries, fostering innovation and efficiency across the board.