Biz / Tech

Veteran investor to debut another Chinese generative AI tool

Zhu Shenshen
Veteran investor Kaifu Lee's Chinese-language generative AI tool, which will debut in the near future, will join Baidu in enriching China's generative AI industry ecosystem.
Zhu Shenshen

A Chinese-language generative artificial intelligence tool, issued by veteran investor Kaifu Lee, will debut in the near future. It will join Baidu in enriching China's generative AI industry ecosystem, tapping the wave fueled by OpenAI's ChatGPT.

Project AI 2.0 will be "a global company building AI 2.0 platform and productivity applications." It is latest AI program incubated by Sinovation Ventures, an investment firm founded by Lee in 2009.

Besides being a veteran investor, Lee has taken up several senior executive roles at Microsoft and Google, including Google China head. He is a long-term AI promoter with deep academic and industry background.

It will not just be a Chinese-language ChatGPT, but is targeted at the global market, with world-class talent, Lee said on his social media account.

In 2022, the chatbot AI market revenue hit 5.46 billion yuan (US$791 million), with almost saturated market penetration. The ChatGPT wave has poured into AI large models to create a new batch of market opportunities, covering search and marketing. More current AI applications will be replaced by the new wave of AI, including ChatGPT, in a few years, according to researcher International Data Corp.

In the future, AI assistants will even replace more human work for content production in various fields, IDC said in the latest report.

In terms of preparation, Project Al 2.0 has funding support and is now building a team to recruit people globally. The first batch of top talent will cover AI large models, multimodal, NLP (natural language processing), AI algorithm engineering and research and distributed computing/infrastructure.

Last week, Microsoft announced plans to put generative AI feature into its widely used Office software, covering Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It's expected to affect over 1 billion users globally in the future.

Also last week, Baidu unveiled its AI-powered chatbot, becoming the first major Chinese company to unveil a deep-learning model after ChatGPT.

More than 30,000 companies have applied to join Baidu's platform Ernie Bot, which is expected to be "a game changer."

Lee's background in Microsoft, the major investor of ChatGPT developer OpenAI,and Google, a long-term AI tech pioneer, along with his relationship and resources in the Chinese-language tech talent world, will help the project and finally enrich the whole ecosystem, industry insiders said.

According to Lee, generative AI has a three-stage development to influence human beings.

The first stage is human-machine collaboration, meaning that humans remain collaborative with AI to avoid fallacies and disasters; the second is partial automation, with applications and industries with high fault tolerance turning the first to automate AI, such as advertising, e-commerce, search and game production; and the third stage is full automation and AI will become fully automated and available anywhere, with applications such as AI doctors and AI teachers becoming possible.

In Lee's book AI Future published several years ago, several dozen jobs are expected to be replaced by AI in the future.

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