Alibaba challenges Meta with open-sourced A.I. model launch

Alibaba launched its large language model called Tongyi Qianwen in April.

Tongyi Qianwen allows AI content generation in English and Chinese and has different model sizes, including seven billion parameters and above.

Alibaba will be open-sourcing the seven-billion-parameter model called Qwen-7B, and a version designed for conversational apps, called Qwen-7B-Chat.

The move could pit Alibaba against U.S. tech giant Meta, which has made a similar move, and pose a potential challenge to OpenAI, the firm behind viral AI chatbot ChatGPT.

In April, Alibaba launched its large language model (LLM) called Tongyi Qianwen. A LLM is an artificial intelligence model trained on huge amounts of data. 

Meta earlier this year open-sourced its Llama large language model to researchers and is working with other tech firms to boost its adoption.

Alibaba hasn’t yet announced such a partnership — but if its LLM gains success in the market, it could prove attractive for cloud providers to make it available to customers.

Alibaba has already built its own apps using Tongyi Qianwen. Last month, the Hangzhou-headquartered firm launched Tongyi Wanxiang, an AI service that can generate images from prompts.

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