China’s Alibaba invites businesses to trial its AI chatbot

Alibaba is on the lookout for companies to test its Tongyi Qianwen AI chatbot, joining the rush to parallelize the explosive success of ChatGPT.

Alibaba’s launch of its ChatGPT-like service comes just weeks after rival Baidu unveiled Ernie Bot. The internet search giant’s launch event in mid-March did not have a live preview, giving the beta product a rocky start, although, later on, had received more positive feedback from early users.

Tongyi Qianwen is also being revealed just days ahead of Alibaba’s annual cloud summit in Beijing. The chatbot’s terms of use link its development to Damo Academy, the tech giant’s in-house scientific research group. In February, the Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant confirmed that its research institute was working on an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. Alibaba Cloud and parent Alibaba, which owns the post, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Now, the international tech giant, Alibaba is looking out for companies to test its Tongyi Qianwen AI chatbot, rushing to match the unbearable success of ChatGPT. The absolutely free ChatGPT, a large language model (LLM) application created by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, was released to the public last November and can generate articles and essays on demand in response to user prompts.  Alibaba has started the registration for businesses to conduct testing for its AI application.

- Advertisement -

Alibaba’s cloud computing division published a teaser, upgrading a message on social media simply stating:

“Hello, my name is Tongyi Qianwen, this is our first time meeting, I welcome your feedback.”

The official website for the chatbot application just has boxes to enter phone numbers and email addresses to request an invitation but provides no specific details about its exact intended use. Alibaba Cloud did not respond immediately to an emailed request for comment. A formal launch is expected at an Alibaba Cloud event anytime soon. Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group as well as the company’s cloud division, is scheduled to speak at the event.

Others too have joined the AI chatbot race include Baidu Inc., with its Ernie Bot application open only to trial users at the moment.

- Advertisement -

The network gear maker Huawei Technologies is due to stage an event unveiling Pangu, its natural language processing (NLP) AI model. SenseTime is also holding an event next week to showcase “cutting-edge advancements in artificial intelligence software”.

Also, Alibaba announced that it will restructure into six standalone divisions, each with its own board and CEO. Zhang is set to stay as the cloud division’s CEO.

- Advertisement -

Latest articles

Related articles