Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba, on April 11 unveiled its latest large language model, Tongyi Qianwen. The new AI model will be integrated across Alibaba’s various businesses to improve user experience in the near future, from enterprise communication, intelligent voice assistance, e-commerce, search, to navigation and entertainment.
The model, which can operate in both Chinese and English languages, will initially be implemented on two platforms: DingTalk – Alibaba‘s digital collaboration workspace and application development platform; and Tmall Genie – a provider of IoT-enabled smart home appliances.
Tongyi Qianwen-powered DingTalk can simplify meeting tasks such as note-taking, transcribing conversations into text, drafting emails and creating business proposals or promotional plans with ease. Similarly, Tongyi Qianwen-powered Tmall Genie will enhance user experience in China through dynamic and engaging conversations. For instance, it can narrate stories to children, suggest healthy diet recipes and travel tips while recommending background music for workouts.
Alibaba Cloud will provide its clients with access to Tongyi Qianwen on the cloud, allowing enterprises to take advantage of AI-driven innovation. Additionally, Alibaba Cloud will assist in building customized large language models for their clients. The Tongyi Qianwen model will soon include multimodal capabilities such as image understanding and text-to-image, providing users with even more powerful AI features.
Tongyi Qianwen is based on Tongyi, Alibaba’s proprietary pre-trained model framework that unifies various AI models, including models that can turn text into images and short videos. Last year, Alibaba Cloud launched ModelScope, an open-source Model-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform with hundreds of AI models, including a Tongyi-based text-to-image model for global developers and researchers. So far, with over 1 million active users, ModelScope has made 800 models available with over 16 million model downloads to date.
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). The move will make computing more accessible and affordable for companies looking to unlock emerging opportunities in the new AI era in China.