Baidu CEO Robin Li Urges Caution on Rapid AI Development in China
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Robin Li, CEO of Baidu — one of China’s leading AI companies, has raised concerns about the hasty development of large language models in China.
Speaking at a forum in Shenzhen, Li warned that the current rush could lead to resource wastage and emphasized the need for firms to focus on creating practical applications rather than just developing technology.
China Races for AI Pole Position
Baidu’s CEO pointed out that the frenetic pace of AI development in the country, characterized by significant investments in hardware and the creation of large computing centers, might not be sustainable. He suggested that the industry’s priority should be to work on fewer but more effective large models that can be used to develop a variety of applications.
Li’s comments come amid growing anxieties over the sustainability of the AI sector in China. Despite the proliferation of large language models, with 238 released as of October compared to 79 in June, Li noted that the number of practical AI applications based on these models remains limited.
He stressed that the constant redevelopment of foundational large models represents a substantial waste of resources.
The Growing Concerns in China’s AI Sector
This cautionary stance from the head of Baidu, which has its own large language model named Ernie, highlights a critical moment in China’s AI industry.
The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT late last year sparked intense interest in AI across China, leading to a surge in both established companies and startups entering the field. However, the challenge remains to channel this enthusiasm into the development of viable business models and practical applications that can contribute meaningfully to various sectors.
As the AI landscape evolves, industry leaders like Li are calling for a more measured and focused approach to AI development, urging companies to prioritize the creation of useful applications that can harness the power of AI for practical and sustainable benefits. This shift in focus could potentially reshape the AI market in China, steering it towards more strategic and effective utilization of AI capabilities.
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