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MOSS, China’s first ChatGPT competitor, crashes on launch

Feb. 22, 2023.
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Lewis Farrell

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The conversational language model known as MOSS, China’s first competitor to ChatGPT, launched recently but crashed under the weight of its instant popularity. MOSS, created by Fudan University’s NLP Lab, is intended to perform a variety of natural language tasks such as question answering, summarizing text, generating text, and coding. Although it quickly gained popularity on China’s social media networks and was dubbed the “first Chinese rival to ChatGPT” by state media, MOSS’s servers were unable to handle the high volume of traffic, resulting in a crash.

The development team apologized, citing a lack of computing resources and engineering experience. MOSS’s website has since been updated to acknowledge its limitations, most notably its inability to understand and generate text in languages other than English. Despite the fact that it will be difficult to compete with ChatGPT, the team is actively working to improve its Chinese language skills. In contrast, Baidu is developing Ernie Bot, which will be able to learn and adapt to changing demand. Google is also competing with Bard, while Microsoft has muzzled Bing after discovering that long conversations can confuse the AI. The race to dominate conversational language models is still on, but computing resources are critical to success.

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