SCIO press conference on implementing the innovation-driven development strategy to build China into a leading country in science and technology

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Recently, ChatGPT has evoked widespread response in China. I would like to ask how the MOST views this kind of AI-driven technology. In terms of supervision, what considerations does the MOST have? Thank you.

Wang Zhigang:

Thank you for your question. ChatGPT is a hot topic. I'd like to invite Mr. Chen Jiachang to answer your question.

Chen Jiachang:

As a strategic emerging technology, AI has increasingly become an important driving force for technological innovation, industrial upgrading and improving productivity. Human-computer dialogue based on natural language understanding is an important direction for the development of AI. The ChatGPT application you mentioned has recently become a phenomenon, showing a high level of human-computer interaction. It also shows that the large natural language model already has some characteristics progressing towards artificial general intelligence (AGI) and has broad application potential in many industries.

In terms of AI development trends, there are two very obvious characteristics. First, AI has a penetrating, spreading and disruptive impact on social and economic development. Especially in the fields of scientific research, AI provides new methods and new approaches for some research in biological science, materials science and energy studies, and is leading the paradigm shift in scientific research. Second, driven by the internet, big data, supercomputing, intelligent computing, and brain and cognition-related technologies, AI technology is developing rapidly, showing a trend of group breakthroughs. The paradigm of "intelligence +" has been widely used in manufacturing, transportation, medical care and other fields. In some "dark factories ," the process is highly automated with no human intervention, which greatly improves the energy efficiency of production. In the medical field, the AI-assisted diagnosis and treatment system covers more than 3,000 common diseases and has been applied in more than 27,000 community-level medical institutions, showing that AI has achieved far-reaching penetration.

In terms of China's plan for developing R&D and the progress it has made, the Chinese government places great importance on AI. In 2017, the State Council introduced a development plan for the new generation of AI. Under the guidance of this plan, the MOST set up an office for advancing AI development, a strategic advisory committee, and a committee for AI governance. Over the past two years, the ministry has also introduced the Governance Principles for the New Generation Artificial Intelligence, and Ethical Norms for New Generation Artificial Intelligence. Key scientific and research projects on AI have been launched. We have established the "one body, two wings" R&D structure, with basic software and hardware as the "main body" and basic theories and innovative application as the "two wings." We have collaborated with leading companies to establish a number of open innovation platforms for AI, aimed at supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and accelerating technological advancement across the industry. We have established 18 national innovation pilot zones, encouraging localities to introduce application scenarios with their own characteristics in line with local conditions. Our efforts have yielded significant progress. Domestic scholars have proposed the concept of "neuromorphic completeness ," and developed the heterogeneous fusion brain-inspired computing chip. Additionally, domestic scientific research institutions have developed a Chinese multi-modal pre-training model and omni-perception pre-trainer , which are among the most technologically advanced in the world.

Going forward, the MOST will recognize AI as an emerging industry of strategic importance and a new driving force for the economy. We will continue to provide support in the following aspects: First, we will work to build an open and coordinated system for AI innovation, accelerate basic theoretical studies and achieve breakthroughs in key technologies. Second, we will further integrate AI into social and economic development, improve our technologies in major application scenarios, and foster the market. Third, we will promote the development of a safe and manageable governance system. Fourth, we will advance open cooperation on AI in all areas. Thank you.

Wang Zhigang:

I would like to add that ChatGPT is indeed quite popular. Mr. Chen just briefed us on the relevant information. The journalist's questions mainly cover two aspects: how to view ChatGPT and how to deal with ethical issues. While promoting the development of AI, we should also take into account the need to strengthen ethical norms. ChatGPT itself is a large model which is based on a large amount of data, powerful computing capacity and highly efficient algorithms. As mentioned earlier, there have been advances in natural language understanding and processing, as well as the effective integration of algorithms, data and computing power.

For all new technologies, including AI, China has taken targeted measures in terms of ethics to avoid potential risks and better leverage the benefits of technology. Thank you. 

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