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AI-generated content helping redefine industry

By FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-13 09:10

Chinese tech companies are stepping up efforts to make forays into the artificial intelligence-generated content or AIGC sector. [Photo/VCG]

Chinese tech companies are stepping up efforts to make forays into the artificial intelligence-generated content or AIGC sector, as the recently launched ChatGPT, a new chatbot model developed by US-based AI research laboratory OpenAI, has quickly become a hit globally due to its advanced conversational capabilities.

Leveraging machine learning algorithms, ChatGPT can mimic human-like responses with AI-generated content, and assist people with an array of tasks like writing essays, making business proposals, creating poems and even checking for program bugs. It has gained more than 1 million followers after its debut on Nov 30.

Experts said AIGC is likely to become a new engine driving innovation of digital content, rewrite the rules of content creation and free human creators from tedious and time-intensive tasks, with a wide range of applications in fields including finance, culture, tourism, education and healthcare.

Baidu Inc released its AI-powered art generation platform Wenxin Yige in August, which is developed on the company's deep-learning framework PaddlePaddle, and allows users to complete a painting by simply entering a prompt.

"In the past year, AI has made a great leap and changed its technological direction," said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu. "AI has gone from understanding pictures and text to generating content."

Li said AIGC will subvert existing content production models in the next decade, and AI has the potential to meet massive demand for content at a tenth of the cost and a hundred times or thousands of times faster.

He said there are three development stages for AIGC. First is the "assistant stage", in which AIGC assists humans to generate content. Next is the "cooperation stage", where AIGC appears in the form of virtual avatars coexisting with creators. The final stage is the "original creation stage", when AI generates content independently.

Jianying, an AI-powered short-video editing app launched by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, allows users to generate creative videos by simply inputting a few keywords or a paragraph of text. Short-video platform Kuaishou said its video editing tool Yunjian can complete more than 80 percent of video content production work, and dramatically improves the efficiency of creators.

Chinese internet company Net-Ease has released Tianyin, an AI music creation platform. Creators can customize a song by entering lyrics and then choose a virtual human to belt out the song. In addition, US tech companies, such as Google, Meta and Microsoft, have jumped on the bandwagon of the fast-growing AIGC segment.

Chen Duan, director of the Digital Economy Integration Innovation Development Center at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said AIGC will boost the innovation of industries, greatly unleash people's demand for expressing their creativity, and drive the evolution of content production's commercial models. Although AIGC is in the initial stage of development, Chen is bullish on its prospects.

Market consultancy Gartner predicts that by 2025, generative AI will account for 10 percent of all data created, compared with less than 1 percent in 2022, and could be used for a range of activities such as creating software code, facilitating drug development and targeted marketing.

Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University's International Business School, said AIGC is now in a phase of human-machine cooperation, adding that "we should attach more importance to the human role in creating content while strengthening AI-powered creation in the future".

"We cannot ignore human creativity, and the key to promoting the application of AIGC lies in how to leverage human creation to further improve the quality of AI content production," Pan said.

"In the past, AIGC-related technology was mainly used in word processing. Its application scenarios have been expanded, buoyed by the maturity and popularity of deep-learning models, which have the capabilities of dealing with text, voice, code, image, video and other types of content," said Guo Tao, deputy head of the China Electronic Commerce Expert Service Center and a senior internet expert.

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