Chinese venture capitalist Allen Zhu steers clear of mainland tech firms’ AI large language model frenzy

Chinese venture capitalist Allen Zhu steers clear of mainland tech firms’ AI large language model frenzy

Chinese venture capitalist Allen Zhu steers clear of mainland tech firms’ AI large language model frenzy

“I believe in applications and those that can commercialise immediately,” said Zhu, who indicated that he did not invest in any LLM-focused company on the mainland last year.

Sample code for an artificial intelligence large language model. Photo: Shutterstock

Li pointed out that there were too many LLMs being introduced in mainland China, “but too few AI-native applications based on those models”.

In January, China approved this year’s first batch of LLMs. The latest approvals – a total of 14 LLMs and AI enterprise applications for commercial use – come after an initial number of generative AI services were allowed for release to the public last August.

The number of government-approved LLMs and related AI applications on the mainland currently total more than 40. But at present, there are more than 200 China-developed LLMs in the market.

Baidu CEO slams China tech firms’ frenzy over AI models as ‘waste of resources’

Zhu said in the Tencent News report that he had invested in two start-ups, an AI job interviewer and an AI advertising producer, before San Francisco-based OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022 to kick-start a worldwide AI frenzy.

Asked why some venture funds are still putting money on multiple LLM developers, Zhu said in the report that such bets were made based on a “fear of missing out”.

“If there were no antitrust efforts, I would love to invest in Wang Xiaochuan”, Zhu said, referring to the Sogou founder’s LLM start-up Baichuan.

China to create and implement national standard for AI models

The GSR managing director’s focus on commercialisation, however, has made it tougher for mainland entrepreneurs to raise financing for their AI development initiatives.

That situation has prompted Lu Zhiwu, an AI professor at Renmin University of China and adviser to start-up Metabrain AGI, to complain that investors “always ask me how to make money and how to beat Big Tech”, according to a June report by local media Jiemian.

Such a rigid evaluation criteria can become burdensome, as “investing in cutting-edge technology requires an open mind and belief in the technology”, said David Liu, founding partner at private equity firm Capital O, according to the same Jiemian report.

Zhu’s comments about the prospects of Chinese LLM start-ups come after reported major investments made by Alibaba Group Holding and other tech companies in new AI firms. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

Alibaba said to lead new financing round for Chinese AI start-up MiniMax

Moonshot AI was founded last year by Yang Zhilin, a graduate of Beijing’s Tsinghua University and Carnegie Mellon University in the US.

GSR’s Zhu described both Sogou founder Wang and Moonshot AI’s Yang as “excellent technologists”, but indicated that these founders have not made commercialisation of their businesses clear to him, according to the Tencent News report.

Source link

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.