In part two of our interview with T.H. Schee we talked about what concerns in particular that Taiwan should have about AI, ChatGPT and Baidu’s chatbot Ernie.
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI in partnership with Microsoft, which is its largest investor. It was released in November of 2022. And in case you’re wondering, GPT stands for: generative pre-trained transformer.
ChatGPT is quite versatile. It can mimic human conversation, and do a whole range of things from drafting email to writing essays, taking tests and writing and debugging computer programs.
On February 7th Chinese company Baidu announced it would be creating a Chinese language ChatGPT, Ernie Bot. A week later, Taiwan’s Science and Technology Minister, Wu Tseng-tsong announced that Taiwan will be developing its own Chinese language chatbot due to fears of bias that could be created by China’s chatbot.
And on March 16th the Ernie Bot was publicly unveiled.
T.H. Schee is a digital veteran with twenty years of experience in the private and NGO sectors. He was a founding member of the Taiwan Internet Governance Forum and provided his expertise on digital crisis response to the UN Global Geospatial Information Management group. He has served as an adviser to government agencies and the city of Taipei (2016–18) and is a stalwart writer on the intersection of digital and tech policies.
This episode of Talking Taiwan has been sponsored by NATWA, the North America Taiwanese Women’s Association.
NATWA was founded in 1988, and its mission is:
- to evoke a sense of self-esteem and enhance women’s dignity,
- to oppose gender discrimination and promote gender equality,
- to fully develop women’s potential and encourage their participation in public affairs,
- to contribute to the advancement of human rights and democratic development in Taiwan,
- to reach out and work with women’s organizations worldwide to promote peace for all.
To learn more about NATWA visit their website: www.natwa.com
Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:
- Comparing people’s concerns about the Internet in 1995-1996 with concerns about AI today
- Yams.com the first Chinese language search engine which was created in Taiwan
- Baidu’s Chinese chatbot Ernie
- Baidu’s demo of Ernie
- How and open, free Internet is key to the successful development of chatbots like Ernie or ChatGPT
- How the government of Taiwan is supporting developing its own Chinese language chatbot
- T.H. Schee’s thoughts on ChatGPT
- How different generations use and access the Internet
- How ChatGPT is similar to a search engine
- If ChatGPT can produce responses in Chinese should Taiwan be concerned
- T.H. estimates that 30-40% of the results written in traditional Chinese characters that show up on page one of a Google search are actually sources from China
- Whether or not it’s a good idea for Taiwan to try to develop its own version of ChatGPT and if it will reap any benefits from doing so
- How to combat bias in ChatGPT or similar chatbots
- T.H’s thoughts on how Taiwan should approach developing its own version of ChatGPT
What Is ChatGPT? What to Know About the AI Chatbot (an article from the Wall Street Journal): https://www.wsj.com/articles/chatgpt-ai-chatbot-app-explained-11675865177
AltaVista search engine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltaVista
Baidu stock surges after announcement of ChatGPT-style AI bot: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/06/tech/china-baidu-ai-bot-chatgpt-rival-intl-hnk
Taiwan To Develop ‘Anti-Taiwanese Bias’ Chatbot (from TaiwanPlus): https://www.taiwanplus.com/taiwan-news/technology-and-science/230301011/taiwan-to-develop-anti-taiwanese-bias-chatbot
Taiwan to develop its own ChatGPT (an article from Taipei Times): https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/02/14/2003794307
Taiwan to develop own ChatGPT-like chatbot to counter China’s version (from Taiwan News): https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4810688
AI Chatbots Could Be an ‘Immanent, Existential Threat’ to Taiwan (an article from Domino Theory): https://dominotheory.com/ai-chatbots-could-be-an-immanent-existential-threat-to-taiwan/
China’s ChatGPT rival Baidu Ernie is off to a rough start (an article from TechCrunch): https://techcrunch.com/2023/03/16/baidu-chatgpt-launch-china/