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Chinese tech giants launch advanced AI chatbots to rival ChatGPT

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By Filip Karinja - 

China’s tech giants Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and SenseTime (OTC: SNTMF) have unveiled artificial intelligence (AI) models that aim to rival OpenAI’s renowned ChatGPT.

At the 2023 Alibaba Cloud Summit, Alibaba debuted its own ChatGPT-style product, Tongyi Qianwen, which boasts both Chinese and English language capabilities.

Tongyi Qianwen will initially be rolled out on DingTalk, which is the company’s workplace communication software.

It will also be rolled-out at Tmall Genie, which sells smart home appliances and then later added to all of Alibaba’s products “in the near future”.

Developed by Alibaba’s research institute DAMO Academy, the AI model is claimed to be the world’s first to surpass 10 trillion parameters – significantly more than ChatGPT’s 175 billion parameters.

Tongyi Qianwen’s launch follows Baidu’s unveiling of its Ernie Bot last month. However, the company has faced numerous challenges and delays ahead of the chatbot’s planned public launch.

SenseTime joins the AI Chatbot race

Following hot on the heels of Alibaba and Baidu, SenseTime has now revealed its large AI model, SenseNova, alongside a user-facing chatbot called SenseChat.

These chatbots exhibit unique features and strengths, outperforming ChatGPT in certain areas, such as answering complicated questions in Chinese. However, they still lag behind ChatGPT in programming tasks.

Additionally, the recently debuted AI technologies are expected to face stiff competition from other local tech heavyweights like Huawei and JD, which are also set to introduce their ChatGPT alternatives.

The impact and future of AI chatbots in China

As Chinese tech giants join the chatbot race, the industry anticipates a rapid expansion of AI applications across various sectors.

With these powerful AI models, tasks such as writing articles, generating ideas, and even coding could be significantly improved. Development of this technology is projected to shift, with AI handling a larger portion of the work while humans focus on directing and refining.

However, Chinese companies may face challenges securing access to high-end chips and technology needed for large-scale AI models due to US sanctions and restrictions.

The launches of these AI chatbots by Alibaba, Baidu and SenseTime signal a new era of innovation and competition in the AI landscape, not only in China but on a global scale.

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