Alibaba has launched Tongyi Wanxiang, an AI tool that generates images based on text prompts in Chinese and English, and is pushing its open-source Model-as-a-Service platform.
Launched by Alibaba’s cloud division, the service offers different styles, such as sketches or 3D cartoons. Alibaba notes that Wanxiang means “tens of thousands of images.” Enterprise customers in China can apply for beta testing of Tongyi Wanxiang. Watch the video below to see the model in action.
Model-as-a-Service (MaaS): Alibaba connects its LLM with expert models
Alibaba Cloud also revealed ModelScopeGPT, a framework designed to utilize Large Language Models (LLMs) for connecting domain-specific expert models in the ModelScope open-source community. ModelScope is an open-source Model-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform launched by Alibaba Cloud last year, with over 900 AI models.
The company launched its LLM, Tongyi Qianwen, in April and plans to integrate it across Alibaba’s businesses to improve user experience while giving customers and developers access to create custom AI capabilities at an affordable cost, the company said.
Integrated with Alibaba Cloud’s AI capabilities, businesses and developers can freely access and run the best models for AI tasks. Since the model’s launch, Alibaba says it has received more than 300,000 beta test requests from a wide range of industries.
Chinese AI companies must serve the Chinese system
Tongyi Qianwen is a ChatGPT-like chatbot designed for Chinese businesses and consumers to drive cloud applications. Capable of converting meetings into text, summarizing notes, and writing emails, the chatbot soon faced strict regulations from China’s cyberspace regulator.
New rules required user identification, responsibility for training data, and political orientation of AI models. Providers were also prohibited from allowing content generation that threatened the political system. This regulatory environment showcases the challenges Chinese tech companies face while balancing innovation and censorship.