China's iFlytek launches AI-generative language model SparkDesk to rival ChatGPT
Published: May 07, 2023 09:32 PM
Photo: iFlytek

Photo: iFlytek

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) company iFlytek unveiled its generative language model SparkDesk on Saturday, joining other Chinese counterparts in launching its own solutions to ChatGPT as the chatbot is generating buzz globally. 

Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFlytek, introduced its AI large language model SparkDesk through a live demonstration in Hefei, East China's Anhui province on Saturday.

At the event, Liu used voice-recognition prompts to ask SparkDesk in Chinese and English to assess student essays and compose hypothetical stories about Confucius' attendance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The demonstration also offered the audience a chance to pose queries.

"We aim to exceed ChatGPT's capabilities in Chinese language by October 24, and will achieve a similar level to it in English," Liu said.

"The impact of this generative AI technology is no less important than that of the birth of the PC or the internet," Liu said. "We need to do our best to learn from ChatGPT," he said, "and even seek to surpass it."

Photo: iFlytek

Photo: iFlytek

Liu expected iFlytek's net profit will grow more than 30 percent annually beginning in 2023, powered by AI technologies.

"It's glad to see that Chinese firms and institutions have been promoting own language models one after another, since it's necessary for China to have its own, self-developed AI language models indeed, and with the training of the models in Chinese language environment, it will help empower the digital transformation of our society," Wang Peng, a research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.

However, we should also admit that ChatGPT is still leading the technology no matter whether it's in terms of computing strength or stability, though Chinese firms may excel in some certain areas, Wang said.

Prior to iFlytec, Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu launched plans to develop a ChatGPT-like chatbot, saying services will be embedded into each company's applications.

China's cyberspace authority issued a content regulation draft for AI on April 11, voicing clear support for innovation, promotion and application in AI algorithms and frameworks. Meanwhile, it called for efforts to ensure fair competition as domestic industry players have been intensively launching related services amid the worldwide ChatGPT frenzy.

According to the draft rules, operators are asked to report to regulators for safety reviews before providing such services to the public, and are urged not to use advantages like algorithms, data and platforms to engage in unfair competition.

Global Times