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BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese organisations launched 79 large-language models (LLMs) in the country over the past three years as they doubled down on efforts to develop artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, a report by state-run research institutes said.
The development of LLMs, trained using deep learning techniques on massive amounts of text data, entered an “accelerated” phase in 2020, as per the report authored by research institutes run by the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
In 2020, Chinese organisations released 2 LLMs, compared with 11 in the United States, but in 2021 there was a total of 30 LLMs released in each country, said the report published on Sunday.
U.S. organisations in total released 37 LLMs the following year, to China’s 28, according to figures compiled in the report, whose co-authors include the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China.
So far this year, China is in the lead with 19 LLMs to U.S.’ 18.
“Judging from the distribution of large-language models released around the world, China and the United States lead by a big margin, accounting for more than 80% of the global total,” the report concluded, according to a press release that summarised the report’s main findings.
“The United States has always ranked first in the world in terms of the number of large-language models.”
The report comes when the country’s AI industry faces significant challenges as U.S.-led export controls restrict Chinese organisations from accessing semiconductors used to train LLMs, among other advanced computing tasks.
The report analysed the 79 LLMs developed in China, noting that while there were already 14 provinces and regions where such technology was developed, joint development projects between academia and industry were “insufficient.”
After OpenAI released ChatGPT, Chinese tech giants, from Alibaba to surveillance firm Sensetime and search engine giant Baidu, have launched their own versions of chatbots powered by generative AI and LLMs.
(Reporting by Qiaoyi Li and Eduardo Baptista; Editing by Brenda Goh and Sriraj Kalluvila)