Alibaba Releases AI Chatbot Tongyi Qianwen for Business Testing

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Chinese tech giant Alibaba is inviting businesses to test its new Tongyi Qianwen AI chatbot. According to STAR Market Daily, the company has released a large language model application (LLM) targeted at business users. The application, which is free to use, has already opened up registration for testing, and a formal launch is expected during an Alibaba Cloud event on Tuesday. While the official website for the chatbot application has boxes to enter phone numbers and email addresses to request an invitation, it does not provide specific details about its exact use. A source close to the matter confirmed to Reuters that the application was indeed an LLM.

Alibaba is not the only company that has joined the AI chatbot race. Other companies include Baidu Inc, with its Ernie Bot application, which is currently only open to trial users. Huawei Technologies is also set to unveil its natural language processing (NLP) AI model, Pangu, during an event on Saturday. SenseTime is also holding an event next week to showcase "cutting-edge advancements in artificial intelligence software."

ChatGPT, the popular large language model application created by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, is also mentioned in the report. ChatGPT was released to the public last November and can generate articles and essays on demand in response to user prompts. Alibaba's move to create its own AI chatbot is part of the wider trend of tech companies investing in AI technology to stay ahead of the competition.

In other news, last week, Alibaba announced its plan to restructure into six standalone divisions, each with its board and CEO. The company's cloud division, headed by CEO Daniel Zhang, will remain separate. With Alibaba seeking to expand its cloud business, the launch of the Tongyi Qianwen AI chatbot could provide a valuable tool for businesses looking to streamline their customer service operations.

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