Tencent is working on a ChatGPT-like product called 'Hunyuan Aide'

February 28, 2023 5:15 am

Tencent has become the latest Chinese tech company to join the ChatGPT arms race. The social media and gaming giant has set up a development team to work on a ChatGPT-like chatbot, Chinese tech news outlet 36Kr reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Built on top of GPT-3, a large language model developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT excites the world with its beyond-regular information processing capabilities, human-like conversational abilities, and more.

Tencent's ChatGPT-like product, to be named "Hunyuan Aide" (混元助手), will incorporate the company's AI training model "Hunyuan", said the report. The Hunyuan AI model scored a record high on the Chinese Language Understanding Evaluation (CLUE) test - a set of tasks that assess a computer's ability to understand and respond to Chinese text - in November, according to the South China Morning Post.

The "Hunyuan Aide" project will be led by Zhengyou Zhang, a former researcher at Microsoft Research who specializes in computer vision and graphics. Zhang joined Tencent in 2018 and currently leads both the Robotics X Lab and the AI Lab at the company.

OpenAI's chatbot is not yet available to serve users in mainland China, but Chinese tech companies are racing to launch similar products because they see it as a good use case in the field of generative AI that could dramatically improve productivity and bring new growth opportunities for them. 

Alibaba has announced it is working on its own ChatGPT-like offering, while Baidu says its competing product, Ernie Bot, will launch in March.

Chinese government is also encouraging the development of this technology as well. China's Ministry of Science and Technology said on Friday it saw the potential of ChatGPT-like tech and would be pushing for the integration of artificial intelligence into Chinese society and the economy.