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Alibaba Sends Invitation Codes to Companies to Test Its AI Chatbot

Alibaba Sends Invitation Codes to Companies to Test Its AI Chatbot

E-commerce giant company Alibaba has reportedly sent invitation codes to businesses to test its AI chatbot “Tongyi Qianwen”.

Alibaba’s cloud computing division disclosed that the chatbot could be used primarily to process queries in the e-commerce company’s home language. It also published a teaser on Friday, where it posted a message saying, “Hello, my name is Tongyi Qianwen, this is our first time meeting, I welcome your feedback”.

The chatbot’s name is reported to be derived from the ancient philosopher Mencius, which means “truth from a thousand questions”. The company has already opened up registration for businesses to conduct testing for its AI application.

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Reports reveal that the AI chatbot is a large language model (LLM) which is targeted at business users. A formal launch is expected at an Alibaba cloud event next week Tuesday. The company’s CEO as well as the head of its cloud division Daniel Zhang will give more details on the chatbot at the event.

It is however interesting to note that Alibaba has been focused on large language models and generative AI since 2017 and is in the middle of internal testing. The company has not disclosed how it plans to utilize the AI, but reports suggest that the company might combine the technology with the group’s communication app DingTalk.

Alibaba Group is leveraging generative AI to transform China’s creative industries. So far, Alibaba is the only e-commerce company in the world that is making a foray into the generative AI chatbot space, with more companies expected to make an entry in the near future. Alibaba stock rose as much as 2.5% in Hong Kong on Thursday following its disclosure to launch its own AI tool this month. Also, shares of several Chinese AI companies rose this week, following reports of their own AI tools release.

Hong Kong-headquartered artificial intelligence company SenseTime Group also saw its stock rise in the past five trading days after speculation that China’s most valuable specialty AI company was preparing to launch a challenger to ChatGPT.

As ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot created by a US company OpenAI, makes waves around the world for its remarkable ability to generate humanlike responses to sophisticated questions, the technology has also attracted the attention of businesses as well as internet users in China where the service is officially unavailable.

With the Chinese government trying to block access to ChatGPT, the country’s Big Tech firms have sought to fill this gap by integrating the system into their products. From Baidu to iFlytek and NetEase, with Alibaba as the latest entry, China’s biggest technology companies are wasting no time jumping on the ChatGPT bandwagon to improve their businesses and also enhance user experience.

Also, an increasing number of companies today are seeking to integrate round-the-clock chatbots to improve their businesses and enhance the customer experience, where these chatbots can instantly communicate with customers, answer their questions, and create a pleasant customer experience on multiple channels.

Additionally, these AI chatbots are proven to automate sales and support 24/7, increasing the quality and frequency of customer conversations, and thereby giving customers a uniform experience across different channels. Despite the current market downturn and layoffs in the technology sector, generative AI companies have reportedly continued to receive interest from investors.

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