30th May 2023 – (Beijing) Chinese organisations have launched 79 large-language models (LLMs) in the country over the past three years, according to a report by state-run research institutes. The report, authored by research institutes run by the Ministry of Science and Technology, stated that the development of LLMs, which are trained using deep learning techniques on massive amounts of text data, entered an “accelerated” phase in 2020. The report revealed that in 2020, Chinese organisations released two LLMs compared to 11 in the United States. However, in 2021, there were a total of 30 LLMs released in each country. In total, US organisations released 37 LLMs the following year, while China released 28, according to figures compiled in the report.
So far this year, China is in the lead with 19 LLMs to the US’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 summarising 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 at a time when China’s AI industry faces significant challenges as U.S.-led export controls restrict Chinese organisations from accessing semiconductors used to train LLMs and 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.”
Since OpenAI released ChatGPT, Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba, surveillance firm Sensetime, and search engine giant Baidu have launched their own versions of chatbots powered by generative AI and LLMs.
The competition between China and the U.S. in the development of LLMs is intensifying, as both nations aim to take the lead in AI research and development. The report shows that China is catching up to the US in the development of LLMs, which are essential for the advancement of AI technologies.