Tencent Sets up New Team for Developing ChatGPT-like Products

Tencent has set up a project team named “HunyuanAide” for developing ChatGPT-like conversational products. At present, the team has at least 7 team leaders and 7 sponsors, according to a report by 36Kr.

The team will build a large-parameter language model in conjunction with many other teams in Tencent, with the goal of building a leading intelligent assistant in China through reinforcing learning algorithm training.

Zhang Zhengyou, the leader of HunyuanAide, is the owner of the highest professional rank in Tencent history. In his early years, he worked at the Microsoft Research Institute, led the visual team to engage in academic research, and made his contribution to many Microsoft products such as Windows, Office, Xbox, Kinect, Skype for Business, Office Lens, and others. Zhang joined Tencent in 2018 and led the establishment of the company’s Robotics X division. On January 8, 2021, Tencent announced that Zhang became its first 17-level researcher.

The capabilities of the three project managers will focus on algorithms, engineering, and commercialization, respectively. Yu Dong will be responsible for intensive study and multiple rounds of dialogue. His main research fields include automatic speech recognition, speech processing and natural language processing, in addition to his numerous patents, totalling about 100 so far. As an employee with more than fifteen years at the company (having joined Tencent in July 2008), Wang Di is now the assistant general manager of Tencent‘s TEG-AI department. Liu Tian is the director of Tencent‘s strategic development department.

Judging from the composition of the team leaders, HunyuanAide has indeed achieved the ability to unite multiple teams within Tencent, such as its cloud business and game business. Among them, Ying Shan is an outstanding scientist and director of Tencent PCG-ARC Lab who has nearly 22 years of experience in online advertising, computer vision, deep learning, text mining and big data analysis.

In June 2022, Tencent‘s multi-modal AI model was first applied to the advertising industry in order to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Now, the reason why Tencent has established HunyuanAide is due to ChatGPT’s phenomenal user growth. Five days after its launch, ChatGPT registered more than 1 million users, but only two months later, the number of monthly active users exceeded 100 million, quickly exceeding TikTok’s historical record of attracting 100 million monthly active users in nine months.

Before the establishment of HunyuanAide, Tencent‘s closest project to ChatGPT was Effidit, an intelligent creative assistant. It has the functions of intelligent error correction, text completion, text polishing and so on.

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The popularity of ChatGPT and the big model has rapidly warmed up talent recruitment and investment in China’s artificial intelligence industry. According to data compiled by ITjuzi, in just the two months of this year, 73 investments involving AI have generated a total of 73.3 billion yuan ($10 billion) of financing.

According to the report from Maimai, a career and social-networking platform, as of June last year, Huawei and Baidu have the most amount of talent majoring in algorithms, development and hardware engineering. Tencent currently ranks high in the reserve of talents in the direction of computer vision and natural language processing, but relatively low in the reserve of talents from speech recognition and deep learning fields.