The Register is reporting that China is going to ban AI-generated media without watermarks. The stated goal is to spur growth and ban deception. These rules make AI-generated media a regulated business in China, so in order to get a license to do business, the government will have to approve your tech.
I don’t want to sound cynical or ascribe any sinister motives to the Chinese government, but the U.S. and China are in an enduring AI cold war. Through that competitive lens, forcing every company and scientist inside China to share their tech with the government under the guise of “regulating” it is a pretty savage tactical move.
Of course, maybe the Chinese government is trying to protect itself from fake news or anti-government deepfakes, or maybe it is trying to get ahead of the exabytes of AI-generated media that it otherwise won’t be able to control.
The model sizes for generative AI are getting bigger and bigger, and you need enormous technical infrastructure (think Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Google, etc.) to do any of this work at a world-class level. In China, some of the biggest generative AI models are using Alibaba Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Tencent Cloud, and Baidu AI Cloud. The AI cold war isn’t just about AI models; it’s also about cloud computing, network topology, and energy consumption, all of which is under government control in China.
Will China’s new regulatory tactic alter the U.S.’s AI cold war strategy? I’d welcome your thoughts.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.