TikTok owner ByteDance joins generative AI frenzy with service for chatbot development, memo says

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, is working on an open platform that will allow users to create their own chatbots, as the company races to catch up in generative artificial intelligence (AI) amid fierce competition that kicked off with last year’s launch of ChatGPT.

The “bot development platform” will be launched as a public beta by the end of the month, according to an internal memo seen by the Post.

The move aligns with the company’s new strategic vision to “explore new generative AI products and how they can integrate with the existing ones”, the companywide notice said.

ByteDance brings AI to office tool Feishu, taking on Tencent and Alibaba

The social media giant has already been working on its own text-to-image generator similar to Midjourney, according to a person familiar with the matter.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Now it is jumping into an emerging market for offering large language models (LLMs) as a service. Several other tech giants have done the same, including OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed start-up behind ChatGPT. Last month, it started allowing all users to make custom versions of ChatGPT for specific tasks, with no coding experience required.

The cloud unit of Baidu – the first Chinese tech giant to launch a ChatGPT rival called Ernie Bot in March – that same month rolled out Qianfan, a one-stop platform for enterprise users to develop LLMs and related services.


How does China’s AI stack up against ChatGPT?

How does China’s AI stack up against ChatGPT?

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing department of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, owner of the South China Morning Post, in October launched Bailian, a similar platform for working on customised large language models.
To date, OpenAI has still not made its services available in mainland China or Hong Kong, and other companies with similar products have followed suit, such as Google with its Bard chatbot. Microsoft, however, has been pushing its GPT-powered Copilot across Asia, including in Hong Kong.

South China Morning Post

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