Alibaba unveils its own AI chatbot Tongyi Qianwen

1 min read
Alibaba unveils its own AI Chatbot Tongyi Qianwen
Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Daniel Zhang, announces a new AI model to support enterprises' intelligence transformation. (Image Credit: Alibaba/Alibaba Group Holding Limited)

Alibaba, the Chinese tech giant, has announced the launch of its new AI-powered chatbot called Tongyi Qianwen. The chatbot, which is designed to communicate in both Chinese and English, will be integrated across all of Alibaba’s products, from enterprise communication to e-commerce, in the near future.

Initially, Tongyi Qianwen will be deployed on DingTalk, Alibaba’s workplace communication software, and Tmall Genie, a provider of smart home appliances. The chatbot will be fine-tuned with proprietary information and data from clients, reducing resources and costs for these companies.

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing unit of Alibaba, will offer its clients access to Tongyi Qianwen on the cloud and help them build customized large language models. The company’s customers and developers will have access to the model to create customized AI features in a cost-effective way.

According to Alibaba, the chatbot will be fine-tuned with proprietary information and data from clients, reducing resources and costs for these companies. Alibaba Cloud’s enterprise customers in China will be able to access Tongyi Qianwen for beta testing.

Chinese technology giants like Baidu and NetEase have already announced their intentions to launch ChatGPT-style products. Baidu revealed its own ChatGPT version, Ernie Bot, in March.

Alibaba’s move to launch its own chatbot is part of a larger trend in the tech industry towards generative AI and cloud computing. These technologies are driving a technological watershed moment, and businesses across all sectors are embracing intelligence transformation to stay ahead of the game.

We hope to facilitate businesses from all industries with their intelligence transformation and, ultimately, help boost their business productivity, expand their expertise and capabilities while unlocking more exciting opportunities through innovations,” said Jingren Zhou, CTO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, in a press release.

Users can expect more compelling AI features such as image understanding and text-to-image to be added to the Tongyi Qianwen model soon. Developers in China can also apply for beta testing of Tongyi Qianwen to create their AI applications at scale, the company said.

Alibaba’s Tongyi Qianwen will provide stiff competition for other chatbots like OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Google’s Bard. However, with Alibaba’s massive user base and deep pockets, the company is well-positioned to make a major impact in the chatbot market.