The Black Market For Chatgpt Is Booming In China

The thriving black market for ChatGPT services in China is a concerning development in artificial intelligence. While the technology behind ChatGPT is impressive, its use in illegal activities undermines its potential for a positive impact.

YUXIN GUO, a master’s student from Beijing University, had been carefully following the discourse regarding ChatGPT—a developed artificial intelligence tool capable of generating natural-seeming dialogue when prompted by text—for some time.

Finally, in February, she opted to give it a go and see how students at universities across the US were using this tech to write their research papers – something she saw featured on Weibo, a popular social media platform.

Guo says:

“I got curious because so many people are talking about it,”

“Although not a lot of people seem to clearly know how to access it.”

Guo, unable to access OpenAI’s ChatGPT in China, explored Taobao – China’s leading e-commerce platform where items like iPhone cases and foreign driver’s licenses are readily available – to see what was on offer.

Users on Taobao are eager to obtain both virtual foreign phone numbers, specifically for receiving verification codes and logins to ChatGPT.

A simple search in early February showed that the platform contains over 600 stores selling logins with prices ranging between 1 and 30 RMB (which falls between $0.17 and $4.28).

Within the Tencent WeChat platform, users have created a sizable marketplace whereby mini-programs such as ChatGPT Online have led to a surge of ChatGPT knockoff sales. This has resulted in thousands of transactions within this thriving market.

Some users can ask several free questions through a chatbot which is then charged for additional time use – this intermediary service consistently trends notably on Baidu, China’s search engine father. The “How to use ChatGPT within China” has been requested for weeks.

In China, where the enormous black market for access to ChatGPT and numerous copycats expose the great yearning for generative AI products, would-be that create these solutions confront severe complications. Indeed, this voracious demand reflects the difficulty companies will experience in forming these products.

Given the “black box” nature of generative AI and the highly regulated Chinese internet, it can be difficult to anticipate a chatbot’s output, making it a risky endeavor.

Sheehan, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace fellow, has researched China’s AI environment.

Matt Sheehan says:

“Big Chinese companies developing a ChatGPT-like product puts into tension two of the Chinese government’s biggest priorities: leadership in AI and control over information,”

Baidu declared that the vehicle for internal testing called Ernie bot, titled “Wen Xin Yi Yan” in Chinese, will launch in March. The technology is founded on a specially designed huge literature model, Ernie 3.0-Titan, that they have built since 2019.

The primary objective of the Baidu chatbot is to maneuver through the complex nuances of the Chinese language, responding to questions in both English and Chinese.

Utilizing Project Picea as an integral part of various business areas, Baidu CEO Robin Li stated on its 2022 Q4 earnings call that it would be integrated into the search engine, Xiaodu voice assistant, AI Cloud, and Apollo autonomous driving entity.

The thriving black market for ChatGPT in China is a worrying trend, underscoring the importance of responsible use and regulation of AI technology. By working together to establish guidelines and policies that promote ethical and legal uses of AI, we can ensure that this technology is used for the greater good of society.

Source: wired

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