Alibaba Unveils ChatGPT Rival With Chinese and English Capabilities

"We are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing," says Alibaba's CEO.

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Steven Musil
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You'll soon have another option to choose from in the burgeoning field of generative AI models. Alibaba Cloud on Monday unveiled Tongyi Qianwen, a ChatGPT-like AI product that possesses both Chinese and English language capabilities it plans to deploy across all of the Chinese e-commerce giant's business applications in the near future.

The AI model will also be offered to customers and developers, allowing them to create customized large language models to meet their individual needs, the company said in release.

"We are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing, and businesses across all sectors have started to embrace intelligence transformation to stay ahead of the game," CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement.

Generative AI captured the public's attention with November's launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT, a chatbot built on a powerful AI engine that can write software, hold conversations and compose poetry. Microsoft is employing ChatGPT's technology foundation, GPT-4, to boost Bing search results, offer email writing tips and help build presentations.

Since then, there's been a rush of Big Tech companies looking to capitalize on that breakthrough. Microsoft announced a multibillion-dollar expanded partnership with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT tech to its Bing search. Google, maker of the world's most popular search engine, responded by revealing its ChatGPT rival, called Bard.

Still, not all AI chatbots are built the same. CNET put those early generative AI models to the test, comparing their responses to determine which is the most helpful. CNET's Imad Khan found that ChatGPT turned in the best results, producing responses that feel more humanlike than those of Bing and especially Bard.

Alibaba's AI model will first be integrated into DingTalk, Alibaba's workplace collaboration software, and Tmall Genie, a smart speaker produced by Alibaba, the company said.

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.