Is China’s Alibaba really testing its own ChatGPT – style tool

Is China’s Alibaba really testing its own ChatGPT – style tool


The last few months have witnessed the gigantic rise in ChatGPT, and here at China’s Alibaba, Jack Ma has been said to be testing their own ChatGPT. 

Is it that Elon Musk and Jack Ma are thinking alike?  

With rapid innovations and upgrades in technology and machine learning, text-to-image tools from Stability AI and OpenAI were quite a buzz all around the globe. 

After the US launched the AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT in December 2022, it has become the talk of the town since then and is loved by everyone on social media. 

Knowing the history of China, it was quite common that they would be starting out soon. But the question in everyone’s mind is: will they replicate ChatGPT or bring us something super cool to beat the fascination of it?

All about ChatGPT and its rise

China's Alibaba testing ChatGPT

As of now, we all know what ChatGPT is and how it is an amazing tool to assist writers. Even the myth is that it can replace writers in the long term. Well, that’s just a myth due to its commendable write ups and easy-to-use approach. 

If you are wondering how this technology works,

It is an AI that uses natural language processing to write on the given topic. It takes the topic and then, using a pre-trained language model (which is trained on large books, articles, and other sources available), devises its own non-plagiarized content that is relevant and indistinguishable from human content unless tested on some specially devised tools. 

Other than writing amazing content, it is also claimed to solve mathematics problems, debug code, incorporate text into music, and identify vulnerabilities. 

Recently, Microsoft funded ChatGPT with $10 billion for a 75% profit share until it makes money back on investments in a funding round where the valuation was $29 billion. Later on, 49% of the stake will be taken by Microsoft. 

China’s image as a “copycat”


China's Alibaba ChatGPT testing

As far as China’s reputation is concerned, it has always been a copycat of the US where technology is concerned. In recent years, it is said that this copycat has now started to move towards its own innovation. And, this week, China’s tech-generating companies gave an indication that they have started with their own generative AI space.

Also, a couple weeks ago, US tech giants announced that it is highly likely that their Chinese counterparts will follow suit. 

In fact, Microsoft and Google also seem to add this to their search engines. 

Just after that, Jack Ma, China’s Alibaba, announced that they were working on AI too. Conclusively, Alibaba is the only e-commerce company in the world working on AI chatbots. Alibaba’s spokesperson also announced that they are doing internal testing, which is supposed to end by March 2023, stating that they have already designed the copy of ChatGPT. 

However, there is no information yet about how this huge e-commerce company plans to use such an AI superpower. Although few resources claimed that the company might add this with the app DingTalk.

Moreover, as per Singapore-based DZT Research’s head, Ke Yan, developing a duplicate version can lead to legal challenges. Even though, in China, laws related to data and privacy protection are quite not up to the mark to prevent any mishaps. 

In addition to this, Beijing-based boutique investment bank Chanson & Co. ‘s director Shen Meng concluded that this kind of project cannot be converted into a commercial one any time soon. He also clarified that AI technology requires a long-term investment, and the impact of the underlying technology on business performance may not be immediately noticeable. 

On Tuesday, more details were presented by Baidu Inc. about their ChatGPT-style project, called “Ernie Bot.”

In 2019, Ernie (“Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration”), which is an AI-powered language model, was introduced. That model has grown gradually into similar ways of interpreting and understanding languages. They also claim to introduce their AI in March itself.

Not only these two, but as reports say, almost five giant tech companies are working on tools similar to ChatGPT. 

China's Alibaba testing ChatGPT

Key differences that can be found between Chinese GPT and OpenAI chatGPT:

  1. OpenAI is trained on a diverse range of texts, including most of the languages available, whereas Chinese GPT is likely to be trained on texts related to Chinese culture. 
  2. OpenAI is said to be an independent research organisation as America has quite a well-planned and structured governance and marketplace, whereas Chinese GPT is more likely to be owned by the Chinese government only. 
  3. The purpose of Open AI ChatGPT is for a wide range of applications, as claimed, but Chinese GPT has not yet defined its purpose. Also, Alibaba’s Chatbot is more likely to be integrated with e-commerce only. 
  4. There is no access restriction on OpenAI chatGPT, and looking at China’s history, it is said that it will be restricted as per usage or accessibility.
  5. The development of an AI chatbot raises an ethical question that has been seen on ChatGPT. Many users claimed that it doesn’t entertain unethical questions. where Chinese laws are too ambiguous. 

Summing Up

ChatGPT, being a global sensation, is at its peak. People at every platform are flaunting this amazing innovation by OpenAI combined with their own research and interesting talks. Although many of us were waiting for China to come up with its replication Recently, China’s Alibaba and Baidu are planning to launch their own ChatGPT, which can be an addition to the current capabilities of ChatGPT. 


edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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