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Alibaba wants a copilot as China scrutinizes generative AI.

Photo: Alibaba

The world’s two largest economies have been competing to demonstrate their generative AI skills for months. ChatGPT, Midjourney, the new Bing, and others have millions of users worldwide. Chinese entrepreneurs strive to equal American ones. Baidu launched ChatGPT-like software.

Alibaba, another Chinese tech giant, presented its newest generative AI initiative today, similar to Microsoft’s Copilot, which uses AI to make using the company’s family of applications easier by allowing customers to use natural language to express what they want to develop.

Alibaba stated Tuesday that its huge language model, Tongyi Qianwen, will be integrated across its companies to improve customer experience. The concept lets clients and developers construct bespoke AI features.

The Chinese e-commerce and cloud computing giant offers food delivery, video streaming, e-commerce, enterprise communication, and travel booking. Alibaba’s statement suggests these services are primed for AI disruption.

Two corporate apps employ natural language. In a pre-recorded presentation, Alibaba revealed how its Slack-like office messaging service Dingtalk leverages Tongyi Qianwen to summarize conversation history, create corporate culture slogans, compose meeting minutes, and convert handwritten charts to micro applications. In addition, the release stated that Alibaba’s premium online retailer’s smart speech assistant, Tmall Genie, will include the LLM.

“We are at a technological watershed moment powered by generative AI and cloud computing, and organizations across all industries have started to embrace intelligence transformation to remain ahead of the game,” said Daniel Zhang, chairman, and CEO of Alibaba Group and Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

“As a leading global cloud computing service provider, Alibaba Cloud is committed to making computing and AI services more accessible and inclusive for enterprises and developers, enabling them to uncover more insights, explore new business models for growth, and create more cutting-edge products and services for society.”

Alibaba’s AI-powered goods haven’t been released, so judging their quality is too early. Yet, AI use across online services is limited.

On the same day Alibaba revealed its ambitious AI efforts, China’s top internet watchdog issued proposed regulations restricting how tech firms serve customers using generative AI models. The suggested guidelines followed prior AI regulations. The new proposed laws require AI service providers to register their algorithms with the internet regulator, authenticate customers’ identities, and record data input, such as AI prompts.

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