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China's first ChatGPT-like software to be made open source

By Lin Shujuan | | Updated: 2023-02-27 16:04
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MOSS, the first large-scale conversational language model in China, will be made open source by the end of March, said the research and developing team on Sunday.

Named after the artificial intelligence featured in the Chinese Sci-fi movie The Wandering Earth II, MOSS became the first ChatGPT-like software unveiled in China when it was made available to the public for testing on Feb 20.

Many people were quick to test the software and share their experiences online. In fact, the traffic was so large that the platform had to be suspended for an upgrade due to overload.

"The plan is to have MOSS interact with humans for a month so as to optimize it. If everything goes well, it will be made open source by the end of March," Qiu Xipeng, director of the Natural Language Processing Committee of the Shanghai Computer Society, which is leading the development of MOSS, told the during the 2023 Global Artificial Intelligence Developers Conference (GAIDC) in Shanghai on Sunday.

Qiu, who is also a professor at the School of Computer Science and Technology of Fudan University, added that because ChatGPT is not open source, and the details of its technical solutions have not been made public, there are doubts over whether the ChatGPT-like model based on instruction learning technology can be successfully developed in China.

"MOSS still has a lot of room for improvement," said Qiu. "But its advent proves that the domestic scientific research team has the ability to overcome important technical challenges on the way to developing ChatGPT-like products."

MOSS has opened up all the technical paths for generative language models to understand human intentions and have dialogue capabilities, Qiu noted, before pointing out that the project has received strong support from the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

"Large-scale language models are almost monopolized by foreign countries. They only develop APIs or do not open them to us," Qiu said. "We hope to share MOSS and model codes and development experience with everyone, and hope that China can be at the forefront of the world in terms of large-scale language models."

The development threshold of pre-trained language models is very high, requiring a lot of computing power, training corpus and manual annotation, according to Qiu.

Making MOSS open source can effectively reduce the threshold for the development and application of pre-trained language models, thus allowing small and medium-sized enterprises to develop various vertical products such as smart customer service, smart home, and artificial intelligence lawyers on the basis of it, he said.

"We look forward to the continued cooperation between the Fudan team and the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, through MOSS and subsequent research and exploration, to promote AI inclusiveness and empower the domestic artificial intelligence industry as soon as possible," Qiu said.

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