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Alibaba Cloud rolls out an advanced AI model ‘Tongyi Qianwen’, can it rival ChatGPT?

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On Tuesday, Alibaba Cloud introduced its answer to ChatGPT – Tongyi Qianwen. This is an advanced AI language model built on the Tongyi framework, which is Alibaba’s exclusive pre-trained model framework that consolidates different AI models. Alibaba developed Tongyi Qianwen to meet the increasing need for AI chatbots that can comprehend and generate human-like responses using natural language. 

The company plans to integrate Tongyi Qianwen into all its business applications soon. Initially, it will be incorporated into DingTalk, Alibaba’s workplace messaging app, where it will assist in summarizing meeting notes, composing emails, and drafting business proposals. Furthermore, it will be included in Tmall Genie, Alibaba’s voice assistant. 

The Tongyi Qianwen-powered DingTalk will improve workplace communication efficiency. For instance, it can convert meeting conversations into text, summarize meeting notes, compose emails, and create promotional campaign plans through straightforward prompts. Users can quickly generate a mini application on DingTalk by capturing a draft idea written on paper. 

The Tongyi Qianwen-powered Tmall Genie will enable more dynamic and lively conversations with users in China. For example, it will be able to create and tell stories to children, recommend healthy diet recipes, offer travel tips, and suggest background music for a workout.  

“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,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “As a leading global cloud computing service provider, Alibaba Cloud is committed to making computing and AI services more accessible and inclusive for enterprises and developers, enabling them to uncover more insights, explore new business models for growth, and create more cutting-edge products and services for society.” 

Supporting enterprises’ intelligence transformation 

To enable enterprises to leverage the benefits of AI-driven innovation, Alibaba Cloud will now make Tongyi Qianwen available to its clients on the cloud and assist them in building customized large language models. By securely fine-tuning Tongyi Qianwen with a customer’s proprietary intelligence and industrial expertise, enterprises can create tailored AI models that meet their specific business requirements. This approach is expected to trigger a new wave of growth opportunities for customers, eliminating the need for costly and resource-intensive pre-training procedures for developing foundational models.  

Developers will soon utilize Alibaba Cloud’s Tongyi Qianwen to develop their AI applications on a large scale, contributing to the growth of the AI software ecosystem in various sectors such as logistics, media, finance, manufacturing, energy, and retail.  

Tongyi Qianwen is currently available as an API for beta testing for developers in China. It has been made available for general enterprise customers in China for beta testing. 

Alibaba Cloud has introduced new options for its key cloud products, such as Elastic Compute Service (ECS) and Object Storage Service (OSS), which are priced lower. This has been made possible by the introduction of new ECS instances, as well as OSS Reserved Capacity (OSS-RC) and OSS Anywhere Reserved Capacity (OSS-ARC). This strategic move will enable companies to access computing services at a more affordable rate, making it easier to seize opportunities emerging in the new AI era in China. 

The Tongyi Qianwen model will soon incorporate multimodal capabilities such as image understanding and text-to-image, thereby enhancing its AI capabilities and making it more appealing to users.  

There has been a significant increase in worldwide attention towards generative AI, which is a type of AI that utilizes past data to generate new content. This surge in interest was largely influenced by the launch of ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by OpenAI with support from Microsoft, in late 2022. Following its success, other companies like Google and Baidu have also promoted their AI models and introduced comparable chatbots. 

Read next: Top 10 ways how ChatGPT can increase your productivity 

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