Chatting it up with a fake ScarJo not doing it for you? Why not try a conversation with the leader of China? There’s a new chatbot in town and it’s based on Xi Jinping. As a matter of fact, it was trained using the ‘thoughts’ of the Chinese leader. I put thoughts in quotes because researchers didn’t use some kind of new mind-reading technology. Chinese officials just used a bunch of his books and papers for training purposes, according to a report by The Financial Times.
His political philosophy is collectively known as “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” or, simply, “Xi Jinping Thought.” This ideological doctrine has been created during his tenure as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). With that in mind, the chatbot was trained on official literature that falls under that umbrella, including more than 12 books allegedly written by Xi Jinping himself. The training set also includes government regulations, policy documents, state media reports and other official publications.
A single document examined by The Financial Times used to train the chatbot contained over 86,000 mentions of Xi Jinping, with language that urges citizens to “ensure that in thought, politics, and action, we are always in high alignment with the Party Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core.” This chatbot must be really fun at parties.
The technology hasn’t rolled out to the general public yet. It’s being used at a research center under the purview of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), though it may eventually be released for wider use. The model can answer questions, create reports, summarize information and translate between Chinese and English. It’s a basic chatbot, though one that’s likely to disseminate Xi’s ideas on politics, economics and culture.
This move comes amid extensive efforts by Chinese officials to promote the philosophies of Xi and his authoritarian state. As previously mentioned, more than a dozen books are attributed to the leader and they typically take center stage at the country’s book fairs. Popular news apps from companies like Tencent and Netease reserve slots at the top of feeds for articles from official state media, and most of these posts feature Xi. Children as young as ten are required to study his political philosophy, so the chatbot could find a use there.
The major Western AI models aren’t available in China, as the CAC mandates that generative AI providers “embody core socialist values” and that the output from any chatbot must not “contain any content that subverts state power.” So there’s no ChatGPT, Google Gemini or anything like that. Chinese companies like Baidu and Alibaba must ensure that their models strictly control generated content related to Xi or any sensitive issue.
This is a huge challenge for these companies, as most groups train their models with some English language data. This introduces the potential for responses that run afoul of the country’s speech regulations. To get around this, Chinese chatbots will typically restart the chat when asked about sensitive topics. The country is, however, leading the way in the “chatbots based on deceased relatives” department. With that in mind, Xi Jinping could very well espouse his philosophy from now until the end of time.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sure-why-not-china-built-a-chatbot-based-on-xi-jinping-155828456.html?src=rss

Chatting it up with a fake ScarJo not doing it for you? Why not try a conversation with the leader of China? There’s a new chatbot in town and it’s based on Xi Jinping. As a matter of fact, it was trained using the ‘thoughts’ of the Chinese leader. I put thoughts in quotes because researchers didn’t use some kind of new mind-reading technology. Chinese officials just used a bunch of his books and papers for training purposes, according to a report by The Financial Times.

His political philosophy is collectively known as “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” or, simply, “Xi Jinping Thought.” This ideological doctrine has been created during his tenure as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). With that in mind, the chatbot was trained on official literature that falls under that umbrella, including more than 12 books allegedly written by Xi Jinping himself. The training set also includes government regulations, policy documents, state media reports and other official publications.

A single document examined by The Financial Times used to train the chatbot contained over 86,000 mentions of Xi Jinping, with language that urges citizens to “ensure that in thought, politics, and action, we are always in high alignment with the Party Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core.” This chatbot must be really fun at parties.

The technology hasn’t rolled out to the general public yet. It’s being used at a research center under the purview of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), though it may eventually be released for wider use. The model can answer questions, create reports, summarize information and translate between Chinese and English. It’s a basic chatbot, though one that’s likely to disseminate Xi’s ideas on politics, economics and culture.

This move comes amid extensive efforts by Chinese officials to promote the philosophies of Xi and his authoritarian state. As previously mentioned, more than a dozen books are attributed to the leader and they typically take center stage at the country’s book fairs. Popular news apps from companies like Tencent and Netease reserve slots at the top of feeds for articles from official state media, and most of these posts feature Xi. Children as young as ten are required to study his political philosophy, so the chatbot could find a use there.

The major Western AI models aren’t available in China, as the CAC mandates that generative AI providers “embody core socialist values” and that the output from any chatbot must not “contain any content that subverts state power.” So there’s no ChatGPT, Google Gemini or anything like that. Chinese companies like Baidu and Alibaba must ensure that their models strictly control generated content related to Xi or any sensitive issue.

This is a huge challenge for these companies, as most groups train their models with some English language data. This introduces the potential for responses that run afoul of the country’s speech regulations. To get around this, Chinese chatbots will typically restart the chat when asked about sensitive topics. The country is, however, leading the way in the “chatbots based on deceased relatives” department. With that in mind, Xi Jinping could very well espouse his philosophy from now until the end of time.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sure-why-not-china-built-a-chatbot-based-on-xi-jinping-155828456.html?src=rss …Read More

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