Since the release of ChatGPT in November 2022 and its meteoric rise in popularity, generative AI chatbots have started popping up one after another. Widely known technology companies invested substantial sums in their development, trying to beat the competition. At the beginning of this year, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group also entered this international AI product race. Its representatives reported on the work on the creation of an alternative to ChatGPT – the Tongyi Qianwen chatbot. Literally, this name means "the truth that can be obtained by asking thousands of questions".
On Tuesday, April 11, Alibaba officially unveiled its AI product and noted that Tongyi Qianwen "speaks" not only Chinese, but also English. First, it will be built into DingTalk, a corporate communications platform, and then integrated into Tmall Genie, a home AI assistant that can control music and household appliances. The main purpose of Tongyi Qianwen, according to company representatives, will be the performance of routine business tasks: recording conversations in text format at business meetings, writing letters and developing commercial proposals.
The excitement around generative language models began after the launch of the ChatGPT chatbot by the OpenAI research laboratory and has not subsided until now. Taking this situation into account, on April 11, the Cyberspace Administration of the People's Republic of China formed a set of rules governing the operation of generative artificial intelligence. According to one of them, companies developing AI products are now responsible for the legality of the use of information data on which their language models are trained.