Since OpenAI launched ChatGPT, everyone's been playing catch-up for the best AI system. Big U.S. tech companies are all trying to create their own systems, and the Chinese companies aren't about to let them steal the show.

Alibaba Group just threw their hat in the ring with their own ChatGPT-style AI model, "Tongyi Qianwen", joining the likes of Microsoft's Bing and Google's Bard in the race for the top spot. Apparently, they've been working on this since 2017 and made an announcement in February this year.

"Tongyi Qianwen" means "truth from a thousand questions".

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It will be the second Chinese company to launch its own version of the technology after its Chinese counterpart, Baidu unveiled its own AI language model, Ernie Bot, in a prerecorded launch that left a bad taste in the mouth of investors in March.

The large language model, Tongyi Qianwen is said to have the capability to converse in both Chinese and English languages and packs a flurry of other generative capabilities including summarising meeting notes, writing emails, and drafting business proposals, just like GPT.

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According to the company, the AI model will first be added to DingTalk, its workplace messaging app. It will also be added to Tmall Genie, its voice assistant, and subsequently integrated into other business applications to help streamline business operations.

Its company's cloud computing unit, Alibaba Cloud, is also planning to make Tongyi Qianwen available to its clients so that they can build their customized large language models providing them with better control over their AI technology solutions.

Alibaba's entry into the large language model market is expected to stoke more competition and drive further innovation in the industry.