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Will Alibaba use ChatGPT?

Alibaba joins the AI trend by unveiling its ChatGPT competitor
Last Updated on April 13, 2023
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If you have been keeping up with recent AI news, you may be wondering: Will Alibaba use ChatGPT?

In short, no. Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, will not be using OpenAI’s ChatGPT to power their new large language model.

In an effort to keep up with the rapid AI advancements in the West, China has been gradually unveiling its take on generative AI.

First China’s largest search engine, Baidu, debuted its AI chatbot, Ernie. The release was met with mixed reviews suggesting that US-based companies such as OpenAI and Microsoft are still dominating the artificial intelligence game.

Next and most recently, Alibaba introduced its own large language model (LLM), Tongyi Qianwen. Similar to ChatGPT, Tongyi can understand text instructions and prompts to generate responses and perform any task quickly.

Later down the line, Alibaba plans to integrate this chatbot across their business to improve user experience.

So, how will Tongyi be used? In a demo video, Alibaba revealed all the details showing how Tongyi Qianwen will be built into DingTalk – the company’s Slack equivalent. The AI will be able to summarize chat history, write meeting notes, and suggest company culture slogans among other things.

But, that’s not all. Alibaba unveiled the LLM integration into Tmall Genie. Expect to see a new smart voice assistant in the firm’s premium online retailer.

In the future, Alibaba hopes to release aspects of Tongyi Qianwen to their customers, allowing them to customize and tweak the LLM to create their own AI-powered apps.

Can ChatGPT be used in China?

ChatGPT is actually banned in China and is effectively geo-locked. However, some users have actually managed to access OpenAI’s language model by using VPNs and customizable phone numbers.

Chinese regulators have been cracking down on ChatGPT, though, forcing social media companies to block access to the chatbot. Posts and links about the model have even vanished from popular platforms WeChat and Weibo.

Attempting to access the chatbot from China may prove to be difficult but supposedly is not impossible.

Final Thoughts

With mounting pressure from the likes of OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google it is no surprise that the Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, has introduced its version of a LLM. Given that ChatGPT is not available in China, this move will definitely work in Alilbaba’s favor.

Funmi joined PC Guide in November 2022, and was a driving force for the site's ChatGPT coverage. She has a wide knowledge of AI apps, gaming and consumer technology.