Science & Technology

Alibaba to Roll Out Its Own AI Bot

At the peak of the popularity of ChatGPT, Chinese tech giant Alibaba is preparing to introduce an AI-enabled chatbot assistant speaking both English and Mandarin

Alibaba AI

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Alibaba has unveiled its proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) ChatGPT rival called Tongyi Qianwen. The chatbot is to be released in the “near future” and integrated across Alibaba’s various businesses.

According to a BBC report, the new product’s name roughly translates as “seeking an answer by asking a thousand questions.” Initially, Tongyi Qianwen, which can communicate in both English and Chinese, will be added to DingTalk, Alibaba’s workplace messaging app, and voice assistant smart speaker, Tmall Genie. Eventually, Alibaba plans to integrate the AI model into all of the firm’s apps.

The timeline for the release of a new product is yet unclear, especially considering the planned national regulation of the segment. Chinese authorities have recently published draft rules regarding generative AI services regulations. Some of the demands are that content generated by AI has to adhere to so-called “core socialist values” and obey laws on data security and personal information protection.

Moreover, China’s Central Bank warns against ChatGPT data leaks, noting that representatives of the payment sector in their activities should strictly comply with the legal framework when using AI technologies and should not upload data that is of particular importance to the state and the financial sector.

A range of functions for the new chatbot includes turning conversations into written notes, writing emails and drafting business proposals. In a filmed demonstration of new products by the Alibaba-backed AI company SenseTime, Alibaba’s AI model also drafted invitation letters, planned trip itineraries and gave shopping advice. There are not many details about more creative services, though.

Meanwhile, generative AI is taking giant strides globally, as businesses and individuals keep experimenting with its ability to provide sophisticated information responses and create all kinds of texts, whether of academic or creative nature.

The use cases of AI chatbots in banking and fintech are numerous. For instance, BNPL fintech Klarna uses ChatGPT as a shopping assistant. It is also true for other industries. Thus, Expedia has integrated ChatGPT to help customers plan and book their trips.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.