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Alibaba’s Generative AI: A New Frontier for E-commerce and Beyond

Alibaba, the Chinese tech giant that dominates the e-commerce and cloud computing markets, has recently unveiled its latest innovations in generative artificial intelligence (AI). Generative AI is a branch of AI that can create new content, such as text, images, audio, or code, based on existing data and models. Alibaba’s flagship generative AI product is Tongyi Qianwen, a large language model (LLM) that can answer questions, generate code, and provide personalized recommendations.

Tongyi Qianwen: A Thousand Questions in One

Tongyi Qianwen, which literally means “truth from a thousand questions”, is one of the largest and most powerful generative chatbots produced so far. It is based on ChatGPT, a deep learning framework that uses transformers to process natural language. Tongyi Qianwen can understand more than 90 percent of customer queries and serve more than 3.5 million users a day.

One of the main applications of Tongyi Qianwen is in Alibaba’s e-commerce platform, Taobao. Taobao Ask is a service that allows users to ask for customized product recommendations, as well as comparisons between different products and services. According to users who have tried the beta version, Taobao Ask can offer improved recommendations compared to the traditional search method.

Alibaba’s Generative AI: A New Frontier for E-commerce and Beyond

Tongyi Qianwen is also integrated into Tingqu, the voice AI that powers Alibaba’s smart speaker device, Tmall Genie, and its workplace messaging app, DingTalk. Tingqu can handle complex dialogues and tasks, such as booking tickets, ordering food, or checking the weather.

Generative AI for Code and Creativity

Another impressive feature of Tongyi Qianwen is its ability to generate and error-check code in various programming languages. This can help developers save time and effort, as well as improve the quality and security of their code. Alibaba has also used generative AI to create new products and services, such as:

  • Tmall Smart Selection: This AI-powered algorithm uses deep learning and natural language processing to recommend products to shoppers and then communicates to the retailers to increase inventory to keep up with the demand.
  • Dian Xiaomi: This AI-powered chatbot can understand more than 90 percent of customer queries and serves more than 3.5 million users a day.
  • Luban: This AI-powered design platform can generate logos, posters, banners, and other graphic elements based on user input.
  • AliMe: This AI-powered assistant can provide customer service, technical support, and sales assistance across various channels, such as phone, web, or social media.

Alibaba’s Vision for Generative AI

Alibaba’s investment in generative AI is part of its vision to become a global leader in technology and innovation. The company has established seven research labs that focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, network security, natural language processing, and more. It also provides cloud-based AI services that can make artificial intelligence available to anyone with a computer and internet connection. Moreover, it has developed an AI chip called Hanguang 800 that can perform complex calculations faster and more efficiently than conventional chips.

Alibaba’s generative AI products and services have the potential to transform the e-commerce industry and beyond. By creating new content and experiences for customers and businesses alike, Alibaba is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with artificial intelligence.

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