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Alibaba opens AI model Tongyi Qianwen to the public

In an indication that it has obtained Chinese regulatory authority to mass-market the model, Alibaba announced on Wednesday that it would make its artificial intelligence model Tongyi Qianwen available to the general public.

As AI increasingly becomes a focus of competition with the United States, Chinese authorities have recently increased efforts to promote businesses developing the technology.

According to a post on its WeChat account, the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Division claimed that organisations like OPPO, Taobao, DingTalk, and Zhejiang University have collaborated to train their own large language models or create language model applications based on Tongyi Qianwen. The article also mentioned that a huge language model open source version would soon be made accessible for free commercial use “by the whole society.”

Former group CEO Daniel Zhang, who oversaw Alibaba’s cloud branch, resigned from his position earlier this week. Eddie Wu, the newly appointed CEO of Alibaba Group, took his post.

Also read, IT hardware companies may be told to register for imports in FY24

AI to be Crucial for Alibaba Group’s Future:

Wu stated that AI would be the focal point of the Alibaba Group’s future strategy in an internal message to the company’s employees on Tuesday. The disruptions brought about by AI across all industries will be the most major change agent during the next ten years, according to Wu’s letter. “We will be displaced if we don’t keep up with the changes of the AI era.”

Tongyi Qianwen was first introduced by Alibaba in April, and at the time, it was announced that all commercial applications would incorporate the ChatGPT-like AI large language model.

To improve user experience, enterprise communication, voice help, search, navigation, and assistance, the concept is widely used throughout Alibaba’s ecosystem. DingTalk, Alibaba’s digital workplace and app development platform, and Tmall Genie, a seller of internet of things-enabled smart home equipment, will be the first to use the approach.

This information is released at a time when other Chinese businesses are creating their own AI models to compete in the market. The dominant Chinese search engine Baidu has implemented a generative AI model called Ernie that it claims can outperform OpenAI’s GPT-4 in many Chinese-specific criteria.

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