Xi Jinping AI Chatbot: Balancing Technological Advancement with Political Control

China's efforts to catch up with the United States in the race for AI leadership are becoming increasingly visible, with tech giants and startups investing heavily in AI research and development

by Sededin Dedovic
Xi Jinping AI Chatbot: Balancing Technological Advancement with Political Control
© Tigershark AI / YOutube channel

The chatbot is trained using the "thoughts" of the Chinese leader. Chinese officials simply used a multitude of his books and works for training purposes. His political philosophy is collectively known as "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era." Simply put, “Xi Jinping Thought”.

This ideological doctrine was created during his tenure as the leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC). With this in mind, the chatbot is trained on official literature, including over 12 books allegedly authored by Xi Jinping himself.

The training dataset also includes government regulations, political documents, state media reports, and other official publications. According to reports, one document used for training the chatbot contained over 86,000 mentions of Xi Jinping, with language urging citizens to “ensure that we are always in high alignment with the Party Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core in our thoughts, politics, and actions”.

The technology is not yet available to the general public

It is used in a research center under the supervision of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). However, it could be released for wider use. The model can answer questions, create reports, summarize information, and translate between Chinese and English.

It is a basic chatbot, but one that is likely to spread ideas about politics, economics, and culture. This move comes amid extensive efforts by Chinese officials to promote Xi’s philosophies and his authoritarian regime.

As mentioned, more than a dozen books are attributed to the leader. These usually occupy central spots at book fairs in the country. Popular news apps by companies such as Tencent and Netease reserve top spots in their feeds for articles from official state media, most of which feature Xi.

Children as young as ten are required to study his political philosophy, so the chatbot could find application there as well. Major Western AI models are not available in China. The CAC requires generative AI providers to “embody core socialist values,” and any output from a chatbot must not “contain any content that undermines state authority”.

Therefore, there is no ChatGPT, Google Gemini, or anything similar. Chinese companies like Baidu and Alibaba must ensure that their models strictly control generated content related to Xi or any sensitive issue. This poses a significant challenge for these companies, as most groups train their models using some English-language data.

This introduces the potential for responses that violate the country’s speech regulations. To avoid this, Chinese chatbots typically restart the conversation when asked sensitive questions. However, China leads in the area of “chatbots based on deceased relatives”.

With this in mind, Xi Jinping could easily be expounding his philosophy from now until the end of time, reports Engadget.

A boy points to the AI robot Poster during the 2022 World Robot Conference at Beijing Etrong International Exhibition on August © Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

China introduces new occupations enabled by the development of artificial intelligence

Last Friday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security added nineteen new jobs to China’s list of recognized occupations, including network host (also known as an online news host, similar to live internet broadcasters), generative artificial intelligence application specialist, cultural and creative product planning and operations engineer, intelligent manufacturing system operations and maintenance administrator, and bioengineering technician.

The ministry also recognized 29 existing types of jobs, including mobile operating system application designer. This recognition allows people working in these professions to receive benefits prescribed by national policy.

Last October, the ministry publicly requested information on new occupations and received more than 430 proposals for new occupations, double the number of applications recorded in 2021, with applications for new occupations mainly including areas such as business services, manufacturing, and information technology, the ministry stated.

Accurately grasping the trend of the technological revolution and industrial transformation, since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, the Central Committee of the CPC has considered the new generation of artificial intelligence as a driving force for promoting rapid development of science and technology, industrial upgrading and optimization, and overall productivity growth.

Paul Triolo, a technology policy expert and senior vice president for China at Dentons Global Advisors in Washington, noted that Chinese companies are benchmarking their progress against ChatGPT, indicating significant U.S.

leadership in AI technology. Although lagging behind OpenAI and Google’s Gemini, China’s focus on foundational models shows signs of progress, with China using Meta’s open-source model LLaMA 1 as a step forward, Triolo observed.

Despite trailing the U.S., Chinese AI companies are following the American model of development, Triolo emphasized. Reports suggest that Chinese companies are developing and utilizing large language models to drive the next generations of AI technologies, further intensifying the technological rivalry between the U.S.

and China. Heads of major Chinese tech companies shared progress in AI technology development. Cheng Yixiao, CEO of Kuaishou, revealed improvements in their LLM, KwaiYii, which surpasses GPT-3.5 and approaches GPT-4 in various aspects.

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