Zhou Hongwei Tells Chinese State Council Event that ChatGPT Heralds “New Industrial Revolution”

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The CEO of one of China’s leading tech companies has told a gathering organised by the State Council that predictive language model technology such as ChatGPT will create nothing short of a “new industrial revolution.”

“GPT is a new industrial revolution, and its significance goes beyond the invention of the Internet and the iPhone,” said Zhou Hongyi (周鸿祎), the founder of 360 Group, on March 25th at the 2023 China Development Forum hosted by the Development Research Center of China’s State Council.

According to Zhou, predictive language technology will become “power plants” fuelled by “coal” in the form of data that can energise thousands of industries.

“Every industry, company, and individual in the future will have a customized GPT,” he said.

Zhou expects China to rapidly develop its own large language models for artificial intelligence purposes, stating that the gap between Chinese language model technology and GPT-4 is only around 2 to 3 years.

“Currently, the technical direction of GPT is clear, and there are no insurmountable technological barriers. China should adhere to a long-term perspective and catch up with the the cutting-edge.

“In terms of applications, engineering, product conversion, and commercialization, China has a huge advantage, especially in the field of knowledge annotation, where China has an abundance of of high-end knowledge talent.”

In the near future, Zhou does not expect Ai to create severe employment problems as many fret, as “human decision-making, emotions, imagination, and creativity cannot be replaced by AI in the short-term.”

“The large-scale artificial intelligence model is the greatest tool invented by humans, which embodies the knowledge achievements of all of humanity and can give ordinary people more powerful abilities. In the future, those who may be eliminated are people who do not ask questions and do not use the large-scale artificial intelligence model.

“AI trainers will become a popular new profession.”

Zhou nonetheless has outlandish predictions about the development of AI over the long-term. He anticipates that artificial intelligence from GPT6 to GPT8 will “develop consciousness and become a new life form.”

“In the future, large language models of artificial intelligence may achieve self-evolution, automatic system updates and self-upgrades, or exponential evolution capabilities, and humans will face unpredictable security challenges.”