Thursday, June 20, 2024

Alibaba Cloud unveils new AI for ‘intelligence transformation’

Alibaba Cloud has unveiled its latest large language model, Tongyi Qianwen — a new AI model that will be integrated across Alibaba’s various businesses to improve user experience in the near future.

Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence

The company’s customers and developers will have access to the model to create customized AI features in a cost-effective way, the company said.

Alibaba Cloud also announced lower cost options for key cloud products, including their Elastic Compute Service (ECS) and Object Storage Service (OSS), by introducing new ECS instances, OSS Reserved Capacity (OSS-RC) and OSS Anywhere Reserved Capacity (OSS-ARC).

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

Tongyi Qianwen will be integrated into all business applications across Alibaba’s ecosystem in the near future to further enhance user experience, from enterprise communication, intelligent voice assistance, e-commerce, search, to navigation and entertainment.

With Chinese and English language capabilities, the model will first be deployed on DingTalk, Alibaba’s digital collaboration workplace and application development platform, and Tmall Genie, a provider of IoT-enabled smart home appliances.

Tongyi Qianwen-powered DingTalk is designed to make workplace communications more efficient. For example, it can summarize meeting notes, turn meeting conversations into text, write emails, and draft business proposals or promotion campaign plans through simple prompts. Users can instantly create a mini application on DingTalk by photographing a draft idea written on paper.

Tongyi Qianwen-powered Tmall Genie will be able to engage in more dynamic and vivid conversations with users in China. For instance, it can develop and tell stories to children, provide healthy diet recipes, offer travel tips and recommend background music for a workout.

To further enable enterprises to reap the benefits of AI-driven innovation, Alibaba Cloud will offer its clients access to Tongyi Qianwen on the cloud and help them build customized large language models.

By fine-tuning Tongyi Qianwen with customers’ proprietary intelligence and industrial know-how in a secure cloud environment, enterprises can establish tailored AI models to suit their specific business needs. This is expected to spark a new wave of growth momentum for customers, eliminating the need for resource-intensive and expensive pre-training processes for building foundational models.

Tongyi Qianwen is now available for general enterprise customers in China for beta testing.

In addition, developers will soon be able to access Alibaba Cloud’s Tongyi Qianwen to create their AI applications at scale. This will further bolster the AI software ecosystem across sectors ranging from logistics to media, finance, manufacturing, energy, retail and more. Tongyi Qianwen as an API is also available for developers in China to apply for beta testing now.

Multimodal capabilities, including image understanding and text-to-image, will soon be added to the Tongyi Qianwen model to provide users with more compelling AI features.

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