Alibaba Group Holdings and Huawei Technologies unveiled new products on Friday, signaling their commitment to the global AI race and vying for a prominent position in the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence landscape.
During the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Alibaba, showcased an AI image generator called Tongyi Wanxiang. Initially available in beta form, the image generator targets enterprise customers, offering them advanced capabilities in image generation.
Meanwhile, at its annual developer conference in Dongguan, Huawei demonstrated the third iteration of its Panggu AI model. Unlike many AI applications that focus on content generation, Huawei’s Pangu 3.0 model is primarily designed for industrial usage. It aims to enhance safety inspections for freight train carriages, provide AI assistance for local government services, and deliver more accurate weather predictions.
The intensified development of AI products by Chinese tech companies follows the widespread popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, which sparked a surge in generative AI technologies. McKinsey estimates that generative AI has the potential to contribute $7.3 trillion (approximately Rs. 82,597 crore) annually to the global economy. In this competitive landscape, Alibaba’s image generator Tongyi Wanxiang will rival popular counterparts such as OpenAI’s DALL-E and Midjourney’s Midjourney, both of which have gained significant traction worldwide.
Alibaba Cloud’s Tongyi Wanxiang image generator launch marks another milestone in the company’s ongoing transformation efforts, which began with a major restructuring announced in March. The restructuring divided the Chinese tech giant into six distinct units. Following this, Alibaba Cloud introduced Tongyi Qianwen, a text generator similar to ChatGPT, in April, expanding its portfolio of AI-driven offerings.
In addition to the Tongyi Wanxiang image generator, which translates to “truth from tens of thousands of pictures,” Alibaba Cloud has also introduced ModelScopeGPT, an AI tool specifically designed for developers, catering to their needs for streamlined development processes.
Huawei’s unique approach to AI sets it apart from many other players in the market. While content generation remains a focus for various AI applications, Huawei’s Pangu 3.0 model prioritizes industrial applications. By enhancing safety inspections for freight train carriages, providing AI assistance in local government services, and enabling more accurate weather prediction, Huawei aims to address practical needs across different sectors.
The unveiling of these advanced AI products by Alibaba and Huawei reflects their determination to lead the AI race in China and compete globally. With continuous innovation and the introduction of cutting-edge technologies, Chinese tech companies are poised to make significant contributions to the rapidly evolving AI landscape.