China Struggles to Match AI Advancements in U.S. Due To OpenAI

By Thea Felicity

Mar 31, 2024 11:55 AM EDT

A photo shows a frame of a video generated by a new intelligence artificial tool, dubbed "Sora", unveiled by the company OpenAI, in Paris on February 16, 2024. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, said it was testing a text-to-video model called Sora that would allow users to create realistic videos with a simple prompt. The Microsoft-backed company said the new platform was currently being tested but released a few videos of what it said was already possible, with the accompanying input made to generate the video.
(Photo : Photo by STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP via Getty Images)

China admits they are lagging behind the United States in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), especially in developing its own version of OpenAI, according to CNBC.

Is China leading in AI?

Currently, the United States is miles ahead regarding artificial intelligence. However, it's worth noting that AI researchers mostly came from China, per the New York Times.

With China leading the production of top-tier AI researchers based on undergraduate degrees, they can still change the trajectory of their AI development in the future.

However, when it comes to artificial intelligence, China faces strong competition from U.S. tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, as well as well-funded startups.

"The leading Chinese companies are benchmarking against ChatGPT, which indicates how far behind they are," said Senior VP for China and Technology Policy Lead Paul Triolo.

The country also recognizes its great disadvantage in foundational large language models (LLMs) dominated by OpenAI and Google's Gemini but vows to reduce the gap by utilizing open-source LLMs like Meta's Llama 1.

Aside from that, the United States retains its upper hand in investment and the concentration of leading AI institutions. 

READ NEXT: Ex-Google Software Engineer Charged With Stealing AI Trade Secrets for China-Based Companies

Chinese AI Companies In Pursuit

In return, Chinese companies are forging ahead with innovative AI solutions, exemplified by Baidu's Ernie Bot, which garnered 100 million users within months of its release. Additionally, Chinese tech giants, including Baidu, Alibaba, ByteDance, and Tencent, are driving AI development through billions of investments.

China's progress in AI is also expected to slow down due to its reliance on hardware from other countries, which it can't always get because of rules on exporting technology. This makes the way AI is developing in China different from how it's developing in the U.S. 

The tension between countries also means that AI is growing separately in each place, which could change who's in charge of technology worldwide.

READ MORE: Apple Plans to Integrate Chinese AI Technology Into iPhone 16 And More After CEO Tim Cook's Shanghai Visit

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