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China’s Alibaba to roll out ChatGPT rival Tongyi Qianwen

UNB || BusinessInsider

Published: 12:40, 12 April 2023  
China’s Alibaba to roll out ChatGPT rival Tongyi Qianwen

Photo: Collected

Alibaba, a Chinese technology giant, has announced plans to roll out its own artificial intelligence (AI) ChatGPT-style product called Tongyi Qianwen.

In recent months, technology companies around the world have unveiled their own so-called generative AI chatbots.

Earlier this year, Alibaba revealed it was working on a rival to ChatGPT, reports BBC.

Tongyi Qianwen roughly translates as "seeking an answer by asking a thousand questions", although Alibaba has not given an English version of the name.

Its cloud computing unit says it will integrate the chatbot across Alibaba's businesses in the "near future" but did not give details on its timeline.

"We are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing," Alibaba's chairman and chief executive Daniel Zhang said as Tongyi Qianwen was launched.

The company said Tongyi Qianwen, which is capable of working in English as well as Chinese, will initially be added to DingTalk, Alibaba's workplace messaging app.

It will perform a number of tasks including turning conversations in meetings into written notes, writing emails and drafting business proposals, the company said.

Alibaba said it will also be integrated into Tmall Genie, which is similar to Amazon's Alexa voice assistant smart speaker.

Interest in generative AI has surged since the release of ChatGPT by Microsoft-backed OpenAI in November.

ChatGPT can answer questions using natural, human-like language and it can also mimic other writing styles, using the internet as it was in 2021 as its database.

Microsoft has spent billions of dollars on the technology, which was added to its search engine Bing in February.

The US software giant also said it will embed a version of ChatGPT in its Office apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Alphabet's Google and Chinese technology group Baidu have also announced their own AI models and released similar chatbots.

Walton