E-commerce giant Alibaba is close to rolling out the beta version of its ChatGPT rival, Tongyi Qianwen, for Chinese enterprise customers.
Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) appears set to roll out its ChatGPT rival product Tongyi Qianwen as the race for AI dominance heats up. At Tuesday’s Alibaba Cloud Summit, the Chinese e-commerce giant revealed the ChatGPT-style product, touching on its functionality.
According to Alibaba, Tongyi Qianwen will allow English and Chinese language interactions. Furthermore, although the tech company looks to roll out the ChatGPT rival across all its products, it will be initially deployed on select platforms. These include Alibaba’s workplace communication software DingTalk, and smart home appliance provider Tmall Genie. Users on these platforms will be able to create promotional campaign plans and business proposal drafts with simple prompts. Alibaba will soon add more compelling AI features, including image understanding and text-to-image, to its chatbot model.
Deep Dive into Alibaba ChatGPT Rival Initiative
Alibaba Group chairman and CEO, also Alibaba Cloud Intelligence CEO, Daniel Zhang, spoke on the company’s ChatGPT rival product, saying:
“We are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing, and businesses across all sectors have started to embrace intelligence transformation to stay ahead of the game.”
After the announcement, Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares initially climbed more than 3% before paring some of its gains. By comparison, the Hong Kong-listed shares of fellow Chinese tech rival Baidu was trading at 6% lower.
Although Alibaba plans to integrate the AI-powered chatbot into all its products, from enterprise communication to e-commerce, it did not specify a timeline. Instead, the Hangzhou-based e-commerce corporation said:
“The new AI model will integrate across Alibaba’s various businesses to improve user experience in the near future. The company’s customers and developers will have access to the model to create customized AI features in a cost-effective way.”
Alibaba also plans to provide client access to Tongyi Qianwen on the cloud and assist them in building customized large language models. Furthermore, the company explained that it would “fine-tune” the artificial intelligence chatbot with client proprietary information and data. According to Alibaba, this solution will cut down on resources and costs for these client companies. According to Alibaba Cloud Intelligence CTO Jingren Zhou, they “hope to facilitate businesses from all industries with their intelligence transformation and, ultimately, help boost their business productivity and expand their expertise and capabilities while unlocking more exciting opportunities through innovations”.
Alibaba Cloud’s Chinese enterprise customers can reportedly access Tongyi Qianwen for beta testing. The firm’s broader clientele will benefit from widened access “in the near future”.
ChatGPT-Inspired AI on the Rise
In February, Alibaba first announced it was developing a ChatGPT rival. At the time, the announcement aligned with similar AI chatbot developments by other tech platforms such as Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Baidu. Alibaba’s US-listed shares also jumped 3% in premarket trading as investors welcomed the artificial intelligence initiative with upbeat anticipation. Although the Chinese tech company revealed it has been working on generative AI since 2017, it did not give a product launch date.
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