Alibaba Group Holding’s cloud computing unit has opened its large language model (LLM) Tongyi Qianwen to the public, following a slew of similar moves by other local technology companies that received the government’s approval to launch commercial ChatGPT-like services, reports the South China Morning Post. In an article published on WeChat on Wednesday, Alibaba Group Intelligence Group said it aimed to “let every ordinary person and enterprise benefit from LLMs,” the technology that underpins cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Alibaba Cloud started a beta test of Tongyi Qianwen in April. It has since worked with other Alibaba units, such as e-commerce platform Taobao and work communications tool DingTalk, as well as outside companies like smartphone brand Oppo, to train their own LLMs or develop applications based on Tongyi Qianwen, Alibaba Cloud said.
The Chinese government in late August lifted its tight lid on the country’s aspirational ChatGPT rivals, giving the green light for several generative AI services to be released to the public in a crowded market where ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are not officially available. It came two weeks after authorities enacted national regulations on the technology.