Tongyi Qianwen was launched with statement from Alibaba’s chairman and chief executive that “we are at technological watershed moment driven by generative AI & cloud computing.”


Alibaba, a leading technology company in China, has announced plans to release Tongyi Qianwen, a ChatGPT-like artificial intelligence (AI) product. The chatbot will be integrated across Alibaba’s businesses in the “near future,” according to its cloud computing unit, which did not provide specifics on when this will happen.

Technology firms from all over the world have recently unveiled their own “generative AI chatbots” in recent months. Alibaba revealed earlier this year that it was developing a ChatGPT competitor.

Although Alibaba has not provided an English translation of the name, Tongyi Qianwen roughly translates as “seeking an answer by asking a thousand questions.” Tongyi Qianwen was launched with a statement from Alibaba’s chairman and chief executive, Daniel Zhang, that “we are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing.”

Tongyi Qianwen, which can operate in both Chinese and English, will initially be added to DingTalk, Alibaba’s office messaging app, according to the company.

The company stated that it will carry out a variety of tasks, such as recording meeting conversations into notes, composing emails, and creating business proposals. Alibaba claimed that it would also be incorporated into Tmall Genie, a smart speaker with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Since the November release of ChatGPT by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, interest in generative AI has increased. Generative AI has the capacity to learn from the past to produce content that is indistinguishable from that produced by humans.

Using the internet as it existed in 2021 as its database, ChatGPT can mimic other writing styles and respond to questions in a manner that is natural and human-like. The technology, on which Microsoft has spent billions of dollars, was incorporated into its Bing search engine in February.

The US software behemoth also announced that it would incorporate ChatGPT into its Office suite of programmes, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Both Chinese tech giant Baidu and Alphabet’s Google have made announcements about their own AI models and similar chatbots.

China’s cyberspace regulator unveiled drafht regulations for controlling generative AI on Tuesday. According to the proposed regulations, businesses would be in charge of ensuring the reliability of the data used to train the technology, according to China’s Cyberspace Administration. The general public has until May 10 to comment on the proposals.

A group of prominent tech industry figures demanded last month that training for potent AI systems be stopped out of concern for the safety of humanity. Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, and Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, were among those to sign an open letter warning of potential dangers and claiming that the race to develop AI systems is out of control.

A recent report from the investment bank Goldman Sachs estimated that 300 million full-time jobs could be replaced by AI. Early this month, Italy became the first Western country to block ChatGPT, citing privacy concerns from the nation’s data protection authority.