The global buzz around Microsoft chatbot ChatGPT has spread to China, shoring up stocks in artificial intelligence (AI) related firms and prompting a flurry of local companies to announce rival projects.
Like Microsoft and Google，Chinese tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba as well as smaller start-ups have been working on AI projects for years.
Chatbots in China mostly focus on social interactions whereas ChatGPT, which learns from vast amounts of data how to answer prompts by users in a human-like manner, performs better at more professional tasks, such as programming and essay writing.
Here is a list of Chinese tech companies that have recently made announcements on AI technology:
Baidu Inc said on Feb. 7 it would complete internal testing of a ChatGPT-style project called “Ernie Bot” in March.
On Feb. 22, Baidu CEO Robin Li said the company would use Ernie Bot to create a “revolutionary” version of its search engine and eventually build an AI ecosystem around the chatbot.
It plans to also incorporate the chatbot into its cloud services, autonomous platform Apollo’s smart cockpit as well as voice assistant Xiaodu.
More than 400 companies, from Chinese state media outlets to a Shaolin temple, have signed up to join the Ernie Bot community as early users of the app.
Alibaba Group on Feb. 8 said it is developing a ChatGPT-style tool currently in internal testing. The e-commerce giant said large language models and generative AI have been areas of focus since it formed its research institute Damo Academy in 2017.
Tencent Holdings said on Feb. 9 is conducting research on the ChatGPT-tool technology and the firm will continue to invest in AI research based on its current technical reserves in foundation model, machine learning algorithms and natural language processing.
FUDAN UNIVERSITY TEAM
A team from China’s Fudan University launched a ChatGPT-like chatbot they called MOSS on Feb. 20. The platform, however, crashed hours after its launch due a surge in traffic and the team apologised, saying it was a very immature model that had a long way to go before reaching the level of ChatGPT.
E-commerce company JD.Com said on Feb. 10 it plans to launch a product similar to ChatGPT that it said would be called ChatJD and will be aimed at serving other businesses.
China Telecom Corp is developing an industrial version of ChatGPT for telecommunications, which will use AI in some customer service functions, local Chinese media reported on Feb. 18.
Gaming firm NetEase plans to deploy large language models technology to serve its education business, a source familiar with the company told Reuters on Feb. 8.
360 SECURITY TECHNOLOGY INC
360 Security Technology Inc said on Feb. 8 it possessed language model technology but that it could not give a clear indication on when it would launch any related products.
Short video app Kuaishou Technology is conducting research on large language models, which it will use to improve its products such as AI customer service, the government-backed the Paper reported on Feb. 9.
INSPUR ELECTRONIC INFORMATION INDUSTRY
Inspur Electronic Information Industry said on its investors relation website that it has long invested in AI-Generated Content (AIGC) from arithmetic, algorithms to the application of the technology.
Beijing based-mobile games firm Kunlun Tech said it planned to launch a Chinese version of ChatGPT this year whose code will be open source, the company said on its WeChat account on Thursday.
The company said in a separate statement that on Wednesday it will embed ChatGPT into its Norway-based web browser Opera.
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