Chinese e-commerce giant enters the global artificial intelligence (AI) race with its own version of a chatbot assistant. Alibaba announced the rollout of the ChatGPT-like product in the “near future.”
According to a BBC report from April 11, the new product will be called Tongyi Qianwen, which translates to English as “seeking an answer by asking a thousand questions.“ The chatbot will be integrated with Alibaba’s vast ecosystem of tech businesses, including the workplace messaging app, DingTalk, and voice assistant smart speaker, Tmall Genie.
The chatbot will be able to communicate in English and Mandarin at the first stage. Its task scope includes turning conversations into written notes, writing emails and drafting business proposals. The main intrigue, however, is whether Tongyi Qianwen could work on more creative tasks like its American counterpart.
ChatGPT was released by OpenAI in November 2022 and later integrated into Microsoft’s internet browser, Bing. Generative AI made global headlines due to its ability to provide sophisticated information responses in a casual chat-like manner, mimic different writing styles by command and ultimately help users to create all kinds of texts, from academic research to movie scripts.
Earlier, Google’s parent company, Alphabet and Chinese tech behemoth, Baidu, announced the development of their versions of AI chatbots named Bard and Ernie, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Cyberspace Administration of China will require chatbot developers to ensure that AI-generated content is “accurate” and doesn’t “endanger security.” According to article four of its guidelines, once made open for public feedback on April 11, such content should “reflect the core values of socialism, and must not contain subversion of state power.”