Alibaba, a leading tech company in China, has declared that it will soon launch its own type of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot named Tongyi Qianwen. This chatbot will be similar to ChatGPT, a well-known AI product.
The cloud computing division of Alibaba says that it will connect the chatbot to all of Alibaba’s services soon, but it has not yet specified when this will happen. Recently, many technology businesses from various countries have introduced their own generative AI chatbots.
Tongyi Qianwen – the Competitor to ChatGPT
Alibaba announced earlier this year that it was developing a competitor to ChatGPT. The name of this new AI product is Tongyi Qianwen, which roughly means “asking a thousand questions to find an answer.” However, Alibaba has not yet released an English version of the name.
Alibaba’s chairman and CEO, Daniel Zhang, said that the launch of Tongyi Qianwen represents a critical moment in technology, driven by generative AI and cloud computing.
The company stated that Tongyi Qianwen would be able to work in both English and Chinese. Initially, it will be integrated into Alibaba’s workplace messaging application called DingTalk.
It will be able to perform a variety of tasks, such as converting meeting conversations into written notes, writing emails, and creating business proposals.
Recent Release of AI Systems
Alibaba has announced that Tongyi Qianwen will also be included in Tmall Genie, a smart speaker similar to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
Since the release of ChatGPT by OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft, interest in generative AI has increased significantly. This type of AI is capable of using past data to create content that is indistinguishable from human work.
ChatGPT has the ability to answer questions using natural, quasi-human language, and can even mimic different writing styles by using the internet as a reference.
E-commerce giant #Alibaba said on Tuesday that all company products and platforms, including the widely-used e-commerce platform Tmall&Taobao, enterprise communication platform DingTalk, and video platform Youku, will be connect to its Tongyi Qianwen #AI chatbot. pic.twitter.com/5YNnnn9m9V
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) April 11, 2023
Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in this technology, and in February, it was added to the company’s search engine Bing. It has also stated that it will include a version of ChatGPT in its Office apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Google from Alphabet and the Chinese technology firm Baidu have also revealed their own AI models and launched comparable chatbots. On Tuesday, China’s cyberspace regulator released a preliminary set of guidelines for managing generative AI.
According to the regulations, businesses would be accountable for the credibility of the data used to teach the technology, stated the Cyberspace Administration of China. The public has until May 10th to provide input on the proposed rules.
The Tendency of AI to Go Out of Control
In the past month, a group of prominent figures in the technology industry has urged for the suspension of training of powerful AI systems due to concerns of a potential threat to humanity.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, and Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, were among those who signed an open letter warning of the potential risks and suggesting that the race to develop AI systems is going out of control.
In addition, an investment bank, Goldman Sachs, recently published a report estimating that AI has the potential to replace around 300 million full-time jobs. Earlier this month, Italy became the first Western nation to block ChatGPT. The country’s data-protection authority cited privacy concerns as the reason for the ban.