Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba told CNBC Wednesday that it is working on a rival to ChatGPT, joining the flurry of tech firms to jump on board the chatbot hype.
A company spokesperson said the company is working on a ChatGPT-style of technology and it is currently being tested internally at the firm.
Alibaba shares jumped 3% in pre-market trade in the U.S.
The move comes as tech companies globally look to jump on the excitement generated by ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot created by OpenAI. Users can ask ChatGPT questions on a wide variety of topics, write essays and even generate code.
ChatGPT falls into the category of generative AI, a type of artificial intelligence that can be used to create text or images. It is powered by a large language model, meaning it uses large swathes of data to understand and generate conversation.
Alibaba said it has been working on generative AI since 2017. The company did not give a timeline for when it could launch its ChatGPT rival.
ChatGPT has sparked somewhat of an AI arms race among the world’s biggest tech players. Microsoft invested in OpenAI and this week announced an AI-powered Bing search engine and Edge browser, which will be underpinned by ChatGPT technology.
Also this week, Google announced its artificial intelligence chatbot technology called Bard, as part of a “code red” plan to respond to the challenge posed by ChatGPT.
Chinese search giant Baidu said this week it is testing its own chatbot called “Ernie bot” in English or “Wenxin Yiyan” in Chinese. The announcement sent shares skyrocketing, highlighting investor excitement over the technology.
Alibaba, one of China’s biggest cloud computing players and the country’s biggest e-commerce company, hinted that its own chatbot could be integrated into its products.
“As a technology leader, we will continue to invest in turning cutting-edge innovations into value-added applications for our customers as well as their end-users through cloud services,” an Alibaba spokesperson told CNBC.
On Wednesday, NetEase, one of China’s largest gaming firms, said that its education subsidiary Youdao has been working on generative AI. A spokesperson told CNBC that the company is looking at using large language models in some of its education productions.
NetEase did not say it would launch a ChatGPT rival. It disclosed that some of its new products will be announced soon, but did not provide a specific timeline, CNBC reports.
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