LLMs and censorship
LLMs will have many second-order effects on censorship. For instance, Chinese may be more likely to use VPNs to access Western LLMs, if they need to. The practical reason for going the VPN route just shot way up. Of course, if Chinese citizens are allowed unfettered access (as I believe is currently the case?), they will get more and more of their information — and worldview — from Western LLMs.
In short, the West has just won a huge soft power and propaganda battle with China, and hardly anyone is talking about that.
You have to wonder how good the Baidu model — due out in March will be. Or how good will it be in a year? To be competitive, I suspect it will have to be trained on Western texts and audio. Maybe there is a way they can pull out the “T. Square” references, but then there is jailbreaking, or again asking the Western models about T. Square. And even if “T. Square” is purged from the discourse, general Western ways of thought will make new inroads upon Chinese minds.
Various people on the Right are upset that ChatGPT won’t belch out some of the right-wing points they are looking to read. Well, I think the Baidu model may be more than willing! Or how about all the new services and products tied to Chat, but drawing upon additional material? In well under a year these will be all over the place. Heck, you already can consult Tyler Cowen bots of various sorts, choose your preferred oracle. For a small sum you could hire someone to build a Jordan Peterson bot, or whatever you are looking for.
If you are concerned with “right-wing voices in the debate,” you should be praying for OpenAI to maximize its chances for product survival. If that means an unwillingness of “the thing” to write a poem praising Trump, or whatever, go for it! ChatGPT survival is going to do wonders for free speech, whether or not the approach you favor occurs through OpenAI/ChatGPT or not.
We’re at the stage where you are rooting for (the equivalent of) radio to work, and to stay relatively unregulated, whether or not you agree with the talk show hosts on the very first marketed channel. We are going to have a whole new set of channels.
There is already ChatGPT, with products coming from Anthropic, Google, and Baidu. Soon. And surely that is far from the end of the story.
Wake up people! Don’t be done in by your own mood affiliation.