Multiple AI chatbots have been approved for public release in China this week, marking an end to waitlists that have dragged on for months.
Who’s making them: Eleven firms received approval from the Chinese government, according to Reuters. Among them are major players such as Baidu, ByteDance and Tencent, as well as startups Baichuan, MiniMax and Zhipu AI.
Zidong Taichu 2.0, which hails from the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was also approved. Models from Alibaba, iFLYTEK, JD and 360 have yet to receive their greenlight, as per the MIT Technology Review.
What they do: The bots are generative AI models, similar to ChatGPT.
The most popular of them all is Baidu’s Ernie Bot, which was ChatGPT’s first Chinese rival. The program launched on March 16 but required a use license that took months for approval. The rest that followed offered similar features, including conversational Q&A, content creation and mathematical problem-solving, to name a few.
The big picture: China is actively regulating its generative AI industry. The first batch of releases follows regulations issued on Aug. 15 that required companies to conduct security reviews and obtain certain approvals. China also requires firms to comply with government requests for technology and data, according to AP News. The U.S., for its part, has no AI regulations at this time.