Alibaba is launching a ChatGPT rival too
By Michelle Toh, CNN
Alibaba says it will launch its own ChatGPT-style tool, becoming the latest tech giant to jump on the chatbot bandwagon.
The Chinese behemoth said it was testing an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot internally. It did not share details of when it would launch or what the application would be called.
“Frontier innovations such as large language models and generative AI have been our [focus] areas since the formation of DAMO in 2017,” an Alibaba spokesperson told CNN in a Thursday statement, referring to an acronym for the company’s research arm that focuses on machine intelligence, data computing and robotics.
“As a technology leader, we will continue to invest in turning cutting-edge innovations into value-added applications for our customers as well as their end-users.”
Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares ticked up 1.4% on Thursday morning.
Companies around the world are racing to develop and release their own versions of ChatGPT, the application that allows users to automatically write essays or pass tests.
The tool is built on a large language model, which is trained on vast troves of data online in order to generate compelling responses to user prompts. Experts have long warned that these tools have the potential to spread inaccurate information.
This week, Google and Chinese search engine giant Baidu both unveiled plans to launch similar services of their own.
Google’s tool, named “Bard,” will roll out to the public in the coming weeks, while Baidu’s bot, called “Wenxin Yiyan” in Chinese or “ERNIE Bot” in English, will launch in March.
Bard suffered an embarrassing setback this week, however, after producing an incorrect response during a public demonstration.
Shares in Google’s parent company, Alphabet, fell nearly 8% Wednesday following the news.
Microsoft, too, has gotten in the game. The firm announced a makeover for its Bing search engine on Tuesday, saying it would update the platform to answer questions, chat with users and produce content in response to prompts using artificial intelligence.
The company is also investing billions of dollars in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.
— CNN’s Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.
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