On April 22, Beijing time, Microsoft President Brad Smith said in an interview that Chinese research institutes and companies will become the main competitors of ChatGPT. Microsoft is the largest investor in ChatGPT developer OpenAI.
Smith said in an interview in Tokyo, Japan, that with US tech giants such as Amazon and Google increasingly competing in the development of generative artificial intelligence (AI), China will not be far behind.
"We think there are three companies at the absolute top," says Mr Smith. "One is Open AI, which is working with Microsoft, the second is Google and the third is Beijing Zhiyuan Artificial Intelligence Research Institute [BAAI]."
He noted that the AI innovation race is "very competitive". "Who is ahead and who is behind may change at different times of the year, but one thing remains absolutely constant: the gap is almost always measured in months, not years." "Smith said.
Innovate to address concerns
Ifeng.com's AI Outpost learned that the generative AI technology behind ChatGPT can generate text and images with near-human savvy. The potential of AI technology in fields such as business, art, education and healthcare has generated excitement around the world, but also concerns that AI could replace humans by automating many jobs.
Other concerns include the potential for AI to spread misinformation, infringe copyright, compromise privacy and leak sensitive information.
Mr Smith argues that the answer to these concerns is not to stop innovating but to use and improve existing products. Like other technologies, AI can be a tool or a weapon, he said, citing cyber attacks as an example.
"We should definitely assume, even expect, that some countries will use AI to launch cyber attacks, even more powerful cyber attacks and cyber influence operations than we see today," he said. "What we are fundamentally finding is that technological innovation, if done well, can actually withstand strong attacks and lead to stronger defences. That is the real lesson of the war in Ukraine."
He added, "We are already using AI to identify new attacks in real time and intercept them. We can move even faster than humans.... We are using AI to detect cyber influence operations and disinformation campaigns by foreign governments." However, he also noted the importance of human beings, calling for "combining the best minds with the most advanced technology."
Smith is currently visiting Japan. Japan is the host of this year's G7 summit, and Mr Kishida's government has said it will lead discussions on AI rules. Earlier this month, Kishida hosted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman for a visit to discuss ways to protect user privacy and security.
Coping with Labour shortages
In business, ChatGPT has been used in Japan. Three of the country's largest banks are using it to reduce workloads, such as responding to internal queries and reducing paperwork. Insurers such as Tokio Marine are developing an AI system based on the ChatGPT platform to write draft answers to inquiries from policyholders and insurance agents.
Smith said ChatGPT could solve one of Asia's biggest challenges: labor shortages. "The working-age population has to support more retirees, who depend on economic growth for those in work. We urgently need to find new sources of productivity growth, "Mr Smith said." There is no other way to grow GDP."
Technology suppliers in Asia will also benefit from the rise of generative AI and new applications, he said, as chips are "critical to this technology". "All these new technologies require more computing power. There is a huge opportunity for companies to continue to innovate and succeed." Smith said. Phoenix technology "AI outpost" will continue to pay attention to this.